the stoning ritual, pilgrims will be filing in to crowds through a multi-level
structure housing three pillars symbolizing the devil. (Supplied)
Hajj Sermon, Terrorism and Violence against Civilians Denounced
Pilgrims Symbolically ‘Stone Devil’ In Last Major Ritual
Prohibits Terrorism, Bloodshed: Mufti
A First, Muslim Groups Issue Bakrid Guidelines in Yogi Adityanath’s UP
Bishop Protects 2,000 Muslim Refugees in CAR
Terror Groups Form Political Parties to Dodge Pressure from West
Muslims Gather near Mecca for Hajj Pilgrimage
around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha as Hajj draws to a close
Baghdadi is ‘probably still alive’ despite Russian reports of his death
dead in clashes between Syria regime, IS
of Terrorists Killed in Russian-Syrian Operations in Central Syria
Maliki welcomes Hezbollah-negotiated deal with ISIS
civilians paying 'unacceptable price' in Daesh-held Raqqah: UN
fully liberated from Daesh terrorists: Hezbollah leader
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Share Videos of Animal Sacrifice, Clerics Urge Muslims
State module wanted to kill in India after failing to reach Syria: NIA
to PM Modi: Don’t raise Pakistan terror issue at BRICS
Mujahideen directs cadres not to use mobile phones, social media
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al-Bashir pardons jailed human rights advocate
Jonathan, Saraki, Dogara, Others Felicitate With Muslim Faithful
Governors Caution Against Hate-Speeches, Seek Love, Unity, Forgiveness
Qadeer Told Me Army Group Was Against N-Tests, Says Hashmi
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returns from London: ‘Metro leaks’ to end politics of Shahbaz
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Attaches New Conditions to Pledged Military Aid
chief Baghdadi likely still alive: US general
PM Trudeau greets Muslims on Eid-ul-Azha
Is Home To Up To 35,000 Islamic Fanatics of Whom 3,000 Are 'Worrying' For MI5
Militants Plan Chemical Attack To Blame Government: Russia
France Been Bought by a State Sponsor of Islamic Terrorism?
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Claims Certain Circles in Government Attempts to Spark Ethnic Tensions
insurgent among 4 Taliban blown up by own explosives in Kunduz
of 20 Rohingya Muslims pulled from river on Bangladesh border
confirms involvement of Ulema Council chief’s son in deadly Kabul wedding clash
Calls On Muslims to Imbibe the Spirit of Eid Ul Adha
Scandal Rocks Booming Mecca Pilgrimage Industry
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Seek Five Year Jail Term For Golkar Politician Over Koran Graft
Vie With Israel over Muslim Pilgrims to Jerusalem
Again Shuts Down Palestinian Radio Station
East conflicts boost Bulgarian arms exports
takes aim at Iran over ties to Hamas
Saleh makes first public appearance since clashes with Houthis
Erdogan warn against secessionist moves
underway for Israeli soldier missing in occupied Golan Heights
explosion wounds eight in Turkey’s Izmir
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Hajj sermon, terrorism and violence against civilians denounced
Their palms facing the sky, around two million Muslims gathered Thursday on
Saudi Arabia's Mount Arafat for the highlight of the Hajj pilgrimage, one of
the world's largest annual gatherings.
Saad al-Shathri, a senior Saudi cleric, delivered a midday sermon denouncing
terrorism and violence against civilians.
came to preserve the security of nations and cultivate benevolence in
(people's) hearts," he said, referring to the Islamic legal and moral code
derived from the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad
urged pilgrims to set aside politics during Hajj and come together with fellow
is no place for partisan slogans or sectarian movements which have resulted in
great massacres and the displacement of millions," he said.
violence in the Middle East, including wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya,
and other global hotspots are sure to be on the minds of many pilgrims, who
will spend the rest of the day on Mount Arafat.
sunset they will move to the rocky plain of Muzdalifa to gather pebbles to
throw at stone columns symbolising the devil at another location called Jamarat
on Friday, which marks the first day of Eidul Azha (feast of sacrifice).
temperatures pushing 40 degrees Celsius under the desert sun, the faithful
climbed the hill east of Makkah where Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
gave his last sermon some 14 centuries ago.
second day of Hajj - a five-day pilgrimage that all Muslims must perform at
least once in their lifetime if physically and financially able - is dedicated
to prayer and reflection.
came up here last night and prayed, took pictures and called my family and
friends," said Maolana Yahia, 32, who made the trip from Indonesia.
year's Hajj has seen the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran
following a diplomatic row and a deadly stampede in 2015.
thousands who would normally make the journey from neighbouring Qatar are
absent apart from a few dozen because of the diplomatic crisis shaking the
flew around the area as the pilgrims converged from dawn on the Mount Arafat
plain and the hill known as Jabal al-Rahma, or Mount of Mercy.
a sea of white, the pilgrims ascended the hill and took up positions to pray on
rocks already heated by the morning sun.
the concrete pathways linking the plain to the hill, hundreds of thousands of
devout Muslims invoked God, as others rested in makeshift tents or on sheets
along the side of the road amid empty bottles and waste.
mother-of-three Fatima Arfawi said she was moved beyond words.
is the first time I see anything like this, ever," she said. "This
day is dedicated to prayer for my three children and my family." In a
hospital opposite the mountain, an area was set aside for people suffering
dehydration or heat exhaustion. Saudi Arabia's Red Crescent said it had
deployed 326 ambulances along the pilgrimage route to handle health
began heading back to Mina and the Grand Mosque to perform further rites and
rituals on the third day of their Hajj pilgrimage and first day of Eid al-Adha
spent the previous night camped out in the open in Muzdalifah, pilgrims will
proceed back to the Mina and Makkah to perform several duties, one of which is
the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual.
Friday, Muslims around the world are also marking one of two Islamic holidays,
known in Arabic as Eid al-Adha, commemorating what Muslims believe was Prophet
Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael as a test of his faith from
the stoning ritual, pilgrims will be filing in to crowds through a multi-level
structure housing three pillars symbolizing the devil.
ritual is an emulation of Ibrahim’s stoning of the devil at the three spots
where he is said to have appeared trying to dissuade him from obeying God’s
order to sacrifice his son, Ismael.
from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the
five pillars of Islam.
able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj
at least once in a lifetime.
prohibits terrorism, bloodshed: Mufti
- As more than two million faithful
gathered to perform Haj in Arafat on Thursday, Saudi Grand Mufti Shaikh Saad
Bin Nasser invited Muslims around the world to unity and said Islam was the
religion of brotherhood and gave the message of peace and tranquility, and it
prohibits terrorism, violence and bloodshed.
grand mufti urged the Muslim Ummah during the Haj sermon from Masjid-i-Nimra in
Arafat to forge unity among its ranks to foil enemy designs. He said Islam was
the religion of peace and spread the message of peace and brotherhood in its
teachings around the world.
who is a member of Council of Senior Scholars and an adviser to the Saudi Royal
Court, delivered Khutba-e-Haj at Masjid-e-Nimra on the Arafat Day. The top
Saudi cleric pleaded with the Muslim community around the world to: not
persecute each other, rebuff divisions based on regional politics, fulfil the
responsibility of uniting Muslim Ummah through sagacious use of social media,
avoid plunging into sectarian chasms, and fear Allah the way it ought to be
reminded the audience that the belief in the oneness of Allah was in fact the
stepping stone of piety; no wonder, then, that only pious ones will enter the
Jannah. He further stated that monotheism constituted the basic element of
teachings of all the messengers of Allah. “All praise be to Allah, I testify
that Allah has no partners. Worship Him and prostrate before Him. I instruct
myself, and all of you, to fear Allah”, he said.
sermon then touched the socio-economic dimensions of life by reiterating that
Islamic teachings established brotherhood among human beings. The cleric
reminded the audience that Zakat obliges Muslims to reserve certain portion of
wealth for the needy. He said staying firm and offering prayers were guidelines
given by Allah.
Islam’s principles related to morality, the honourable speaker said that usury
and embezzlement of any kind were prohibited in Islam. “The offspring are
obliged to obey - and take care of –their parents. Islam proscribed wickedness
and obscenity. Allah has directed us not to predate on others’ rightful
wealth”, the cleric said.
beauty of Islamic law, the Sheikh said, is that it organised financial and
economic systems along with regulations pertaining to one’s life into a formal
arrangement on the face of the Earth. The top Saudi cleric rejected racism by
reminiscing the verses of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s last sermon that: “A
white man has no superiority over a black one nor a black has any superiority
over any white”.
has forbidden us from humiliating Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is binding
upon us to fully observe Shariah-stated instructions; a Muslim is obliged to
protect those boundaries that Allah has demarcated for him”, he said.
palms facing the sky, around two million faithful gathered on Mount Arafat for
the highlight of the Haj pilgrimage, one of the world's largest annual
temperatures pushing 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) under the desert sun,
the faithful climbed the hill east of Makkah where Muslims believe the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) gave his last sermon some 14 centuries ago.
second day of the Haj - a five-day pilgrimage which all Muslims must perform at
least once in their lifetime if physically and financially able - is dedicated
to prayer and reflection.
year's Haj has seen the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran
following a diplomatic row and a deadly stampede in 2015. But thousands who
would normally make the journey from neighbouring Qatar are absent apart from a
few dozen because of the diplomatic crisis shaking the Gulf.
mother-of-three Fatima Arfawi said she was moved beyond words. "This is
the first time I see anything like this, ever," she said. "This day
is dedicated to prayer for my three children and my family."
a hospital opposite the mountain, an area was set aside for people suffering
dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Arabia's Red Crescent said it had deployed 326 ambulances along the pilgrimage route
to handle health emergencies.
pilgrims, for example, forget to protect their heads with an umbrella when they
pray," said Bandar Al-Harthi, a nurse at a hospital facing Mount Arafat.
the evening, the pilgrims set off for Muzdalifa where they will spend the night
before taking part in a symbolic stoning of the devil.
Jamarat Bridge, where the ritual is held, was the scene of a stampede in 2015
that claimed the lives of nearly 2,300 pilgrims - the worst disaster in the
history of the Haj.
the foot of Mount Arafat, mobile barriers have been installed to control the
movement of the crowds. "They will be moved to enlarge the passages when
there are more pilgrims," said Ahmed al-Baraka of the Saudi security
near the barriers at Mount Arafat, eight young women from Ghana who are all
related took a brief respite after making their way from Mina, east of Makkah.
Aged between 18 and 30, for some of them it was their first time away from
is the first time I leave Ghana," said 25-year-old Khadija. "My
husband let me come alone because it is Makkah."
a first, Muslim groups issue Bakrid guidelines in Yogi Adityanath’s UP
organisations in Uttar Pradesh have for the first time asked community members
to follow a set of guidelines during next month’s Bakrid, aiming to avoid any
controversy over the sensitive issue of animal sacrifice in the BJP-ruled
al-Adha or the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ – popularly called Bakrid – will be
celebrated on September 2 by the state’s Muslims, who form an estimated 19% of
UP’s 20-crore population.
winning an overwhelming mandate earlier this year, the BJP government led by
chief minister Yogi Adityanath has clamped down on slaughter of cows, an animal
considered sacred by a section of Hindus.
vigilante groups have also attacked people they accuse of cow slaughter for
the past few days Muslim organisations have published advertisements in Urdu
newspapers – including the leading one such as Sahafat, Inquilab and Urdu
Sahara -- asking community members to avoid confrontation over animal
sacrifice, a ritual that is an integral part of the festival.
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind -- that claims to be country’s largest Muslim organisation
-- has urged Muslims not to offer sacrifice of “white animal”, widely
understood to be cow.
bhi halat main safed janwar ki qurbani na karein (under no circumstances should
you sacrifice white animal),” read the appeal.
Muslim groups have mostly ruled out cow or camel sacrifice, the RSS-backed
Muslim Rashtriya Manch has even questioned the very practice of ‘qurbani’,
saying that even sacrificing goat was as bad as triple talaq.
said as that many Muslims, confused on whether to offer sacrifice individually
or in groups, have also been flocking to clerics for advice.
40-page book by Iran-based top Shia cleric Sayyed Ali Hosseini Sistani,
commonly known as Ayatollah Sistani, answering the commonly asked questions on
sacrifice is in great demand among the Shias.
who say animal sacrifice is prohibited don’t know their religion. But, it’s
only mandatory during Haj. Other than that it’s linked to one’s wealth,” said
noted Islamic scholar Masoodul Hasan.
than the situations of Haj and wealth, sacrifice is described as ‘mustahab’,
meaning an act that is appreciated by the sacred Islamic law (Shari’ah) but
there is no harm if one doesn’t. In other words, if done it is greatly
appreciated and rewarding in religious sense but no problem if one omits it,”
said for qurbani to be made mandatory for Shias; they own 40 ‘ser’, equivalent
to nearly 37 kilogram of silver or equivalent wealth.
cleric Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said animal sacrifice was mandatory for
Sunnis, if someone possesses 52 ½ kilogram of silver or equivalent wealth.
said a group of Muslims met director general of police Sulkhan Singh over the
true that because of stray incidents by cow vigilante groups, there is general
apprehension among the community. That is why we met the DGP who assured us of
security, saying there was no ban on traditional sacrifice. We told him that we
will disengage with those offering sacrifice of animals banned by the
government,” said Farangi Mahali.
director general of police (law and order) Anand Kumar said instructions for
strict vigil during the festival have been issued. The police’s social media
cell is also keeping a watch to prevent any ‘mischief’ through social
bishop protects 2,000 Muslim refugees in CAR
Catholic bishop in the Central African Republic (CAR) has given refuge to 2,000
Muslims who are living in fear of attacks from a mainly Christian militia.
José Aguirre Munoz says that the refugees cannot leave the seminary's compound
in the south-eastern city of Bangassou.
told the BBC that the refugees "risk death" from anti-balaka
UN's humanitarian chief warned last week of possible genocide.
O'Brien said that violence in CAR was escalating and the situation was becoming
is intensifying, risking a repeat of the devastating destructive crisis that
gripped the country four years ago," he said.
O'Brien added: "The early warning signs of genocide are there. We must act
has experienced sectarian violence since 2013, when the largely Muslim Seleka
rebels seized power, and were accused of killing non-Muslim civilians.
anti-balaka "self-defence" groups were then formed but have also been
accused of atrocities.
is a street name which means bullets and the militia's name therefore
translates to "those who stop bullets". Seleka, on the other hand,
means "coalition" in the widely-spoken Sango language.
to the UN, thousands have been killed and at least a million people have been
displaced in CAR since 2013.
also says that at least half of the population is dependent on humanitarian
tenuous peace deal signed in June saw 13 out of 14 armed groups operating in
the country agree with the government to end fighting in exchange for political
representation and the integration of armed militias into the military.
Munoz says that the refugees sought help at the seminary after fighting broke
out in May, and have since been under the care of the church and aid
there are anti-Balaka militias who prevent them from going out to search for
food, water or firewood," he said. "So they are completely confined
inside the seminary. They would risk death if they venture out," he told
the BBC's Newsday programme. Protecting the vulnerable
10-year-old boy who was caught up in the violent clashes told a Médecins Sans
Frontières (MSF) aid worker that he was shot at.
fired shots. One of my brothers received a bullet in his heart. Another brother
got a bullet in his chest. I also received one in my testicle," he said.
doctor with MSF, Ernest Lualuali Ibongu, told the BBC that there are other
people in the seminary who need medical care but who cannot leave the compound
to get to a hospital.
Munoz said that the refugees needed to be relocated because many aid
organisations have stopped working in the area.
said that attempts to appeal to the militia to allow aid workers in had failed.
anti-Balaka are armed and very violent and capable of killing children,"
he said. "It is very difficult to reason with [them]."
says that both anti-Balaka and Seleka militias have attacked the church's
properties, but adds that it is determined to protect vulnerable people from
us, there's no such thing as a Muslim person or a Christian person, everyone is
a human being. We need to protect those who are vulnerable."
terror groups form political parties to dodge pressure from West
pressure from the international community to crack down on terror groups
operating from its soil, Pakistan-based terrorists are forming political
parties to give cover to their outfits.
after Jamat-Ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed formed a political party, Fazlur Rehman
Khalil, a "global terrorist", is set to launch one, a trend that has
left Indian intelligence agencies alarmed.
few days ago, Khalil is learnt to have briefed the Pakistani media that his
party would be named "Islah-e-Watan", security sources said.
was the founder of Kashmiri militant outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and was put on
the US state department's list of "specially designated global
terrorists" in 2014. Khalil, who also was one of the founders of Harakatul
Jihadul Islami in 1980, is the man who signed the fatwa issued by Osama bin
Laden calling for jihad against the West.
was arrested in 2004 on charges of providing assistance to Pakistani militants
in Afghanistan but was released a few months later. He then founded another
outfit called Ansar Ul Ummah but it was soon disbanded, officials said.
Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people,
launched his party, Milli Muslim league, on August 8. Saeed has been under
house arrest since January after years of living freely in Pakistan. The party
will continue to follow the ideology of JuD, which the US says is a front for
trend to form parties comes in the wake of US imposing sanctions on JuD and
Pakistan-based extremists as part of their plan to disrupt their leadership and
fund-raising networks. According to intelligence officials, launching a
political party gives these terrorists a cover and also mainstreams their
not only helps them regroup in the wake of pressure from the West on Pakistan
but also gives a legal face to their ulterior activities.
a political party is launched, all members of the banned outfits switch to
being a member of a legal political party," an official explained.
Muslims gather near Mecca for hajj pilgrimage
their palms facing the sky in supplication, and many with tears in their eyes,
around 2 million people from around the world gathered today in an effort to
start anew, erase past sins and beg God for forgiveness and guidance in the
peak day of the hajj pilgrimage.
dawn until dusk, the massive crowd of people will be gathered here in Mount
Arafat to spend the day in supplication and contemplation. It is here, on this
mountain surrounded by desert, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final
sermon more than 1,400 years ago.
hope that Allah will forgive our sins, and we hope to have a new start with our
God,” said Khaled Ahmed, a 47-year-old pilgrim from Egypt.
his sermon, the prophet called on his followers to repay their debts, beware of
Satan, perform five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan and give to
also called on those with the means to perform the hajj once in a lifetime. He
also reminded worshippers of the rights that women have, and said that no
ethnic group or race has superiority over another except in piety and good
the hajj, pilgrims are expected to shed symbols of materialism, though the trip
itself can be quite expensive for most. Male pilgrims are required to wear seamless,
white terrycloth garments for the entirety of the hajj.
wear loose clothing, cover their hair and forgo makeup and nail polish to
achieve a state of humility and spiritual purity.
large crowds gathered from more than 160 countries around the world, dressed in
nearly identical white garments, are meant to symbolize unity among Muslims,
humility and equality before God. The rich and poor among men are to dress the
same while performing the rites of hajj.
hajj is required of all Muslims once in a lifetime. The physically demanding
journey tests pilgrims’ patience as they withstand long waits and thick crowds
on their path to achieving spiritual purification and repentance.
Sulieman, a pilgrim from the Philippines, said she’d been to the hajj many
times before and was here again to pray for her family.
came here to Arafat to pray for my family, for my daughter, and my son, and all
my family, and all the Philippines Muslims, and all Muslims in all countries,”
she said. “God willing, Allah will accept our pilgrimage.”
believe the rites trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail
Abraham and Ishmael in the Bible.
movement of such a large and diverse crowd of people in a short period of time
in limited spaces is a logistical challenge for the Saudi government.
Authorities have deployed more than 100,000 security forces to secure the hajj
and assist pilgrims. Additional doctors, nurses, ambulances and mobile health
centers are also deployed in the areas of hajj.
begin their pilgrimage by traveling to Medina, the site of both the Prophet
Muhammad’s first mosque and where he is buried.
rites of the hajj, however, begin in Mecca, the site of Islam’s holiest place
of worship. There, pilgrims circulate the cube-shaped Kaaba and kneel in prayer
facing it. The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness
of God in Islam. Observant Muslims around the world face toward the Kaaba
during the five daily prayers.
Mecca, pilgrims spend the day in Mount Arafat before heading to an area called
Muzdalifa. There, they will pick up pebbles for a symbolic stoning of the devil
and a casting away of sins that takes place in the Mina valley for three days.
pilgrims will shave their hair and women will cut a lock of hair in a sign of
renewal for completing the hajj. Around the world, Muslims will mark the end of
hajj with a celebration called Eid al-Adha.
around the world celebrated the Eid al-Adha holiday on Friday, one of the two
most important festivals of the Islamic calendar.
the willingness of Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son on God's command,
Muslims mark the holiday by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats. The
meat is shared among family and friends and also donated to the poor.
across continents marked the festival, which comes as the annual Hajj
pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia draws to a close.
flocked to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque for prayers.
festival was also celebrated across Africa, with the faithful in countries such
as Somalia and Kenya attending mass prayers.
Russia, thousands of Muslims gathered for prayers in Moscow.
draws to a close
Arabia said more than 2.3 million pilgrims, most of them from outside Saudi
Arabia, had arrived for the five-day pilgrimage, a religious duty once in a
lifetime for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.
pilgrims gathered at Mount Arafat on Thursday for a vigil to atone for their
sins, then descended to Muzdalifa to prepare for the final stages of the annual
clad in white robes spent the previous night in an encampment at the hill where
Islam holds that God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to sacrifice his
son Ismail and where the Prophet Mohammad gave his last sermon.
worshippers who had been praying in the nearby Mina area ascended in buses or
on foot from before dawn as security forces directed traffic and helicopters
of the faithful carved out seats on the craggy hillside, carrying umbrellas to
protect themselves from the sun.
came to preserve the security of nations and cultivate kindness in (people's)
hearts," he said, referring to the Islamic legal and moral code derived
from the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet.
urged pilgrims to set aside politics during the Hajj and come together with
state television on Thursday morning showed a new kiswa, the cloth embroidered
with verses from the Quran, being placed over the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand
Mosque. Pilgrims will return to pray there at the end of Hajj.
group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top US military
commander said Thursday, contradicting Russia's claims that it probably killed
the top counterterror target months ago.
I believe he's alive? Yes," said Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who
commands the coalition forces fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, referring to
first, Townsend said his belief stemmed from a lack of evidence he had seen —
"rumor or otherwise" — that al-Baghdadi was dead. But, he then added:
"There are also some indicators in intelligence channels that he's
alive." Townsend did not elaborate on the intelligence.
officials said in June there was a "high probability" that
al-Baghdadi died in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, Syria, a
to reporters at the Pentagon from his headquarters in Baghdad, Townsend said US
and coalition forces are actively searching for al-Baghdadi. If they find him,
they probably will kill him rather than capture him, he said.
good guess about where al-Baghdadi is hiding, Townsend said, would be the
so-called Middle Euphrates River Valley, stretching approximately from the city
of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria to the town of Rawa in western Iraq. He said
this area is shaping up to be the group's "last stand" following its
ouster from nearly all of northern Iraq.
most recent ISIS setback was in Tal Afar, west of the also recently-liberated
city of Mosul, which had been the militants' main stronghold in Iraq. The Iraqi
government announced Thursday that Tal Afar had been returned to government
control. Townsend called it a "stunningly swift" victory for the
Iraqi army, moving "like a steamroller" into the city in a matter of
ISIS militants, who swept into Iraq in 2014 against minimal resistance from the
Iraqi army, still control a large area of eastern Syria along the border with
Iraq, as well as parts of Raqqa, the capital of the group's self-styled
caliphate. Townsend said US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces have
recaptured about half of Raqqa in ongoing fighting.
his 12 months in command of the US-led coalition, Townsend said more tough
fighting remains but signs are positive. It will be up to the Iraqi government,
he said, to safeguard the gains troops have achieved since 2015, when Iraqi
security forces began a US-assisted counteroffensive in the western Anbar
think part of the rise of ISIS was disenfranchised peoples, most of them
Sunnis, who looked at Baghdad and they didn't see their government representing
them or their interests or their future," he said. "And I think
that's probably the most important thing that the government of Iraq has to do.
It has to reach out, reconcile, bring all Iraqis together and be the government
of all Iraqis."
said he hopes the US government works out an arrangement for a long-term
military presence in Iraq to minimize the chances of another ISIS-like episode.
He said such talks are under way.
all saw what happened in 2011 when we parted ways completely," he said,
referencing the pullout of US troops under former President Barack Obama and
Iraq's subsequent struggles.
personal view is I wouldn't want to repeat that," Townsend said.
I think that our governments will work out something that will work for the
is ending his year in command in Baghdad and will hand off next week to another
three-star Army general, Paul Funk II.
credited the Trump administration with putting greater trust in him and other
commanders to execute the counter-ISIS campaign.
current administration has pushed decision-making down into the military chain
of command," Townsend said. "And I don't know of a commander in our
armed forces that doesn't appreciate that."
- Fierce fighting between Syrian government forces and the Islamic State group
has killed 64 combatants in Raqa province over a 24-hour period, a monitoring
group said Wednesday.
clashes come with the army pressing an advance through Raqa, in northern Syria,
towards neighbouring Deir Ezzor, the only remaining province of the war-ravaged
country still in the hands of IS jihadists. The Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the fighting had claimed the lives of 38
jihadists and 26 pro-regime combatants since Tuesday morning.
takes to 145 the overall death toll in six days of fighting in villages on the
banks of the Euphrates River in the east of Raqa province, near Deir Ezzor.
said in a statement on Tuesday that its members had killed dozens of regime
combatants in “intense fighting lasting hours”.
director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the regime was fighting to secure a
foothold in Raqa province “in order to advance in Deir Ezzor”.
jihadists have laid seige to government forces and civilians in the provincial
capital of Deir Ezzor since 2015.
this month, government troops and allied fighters arrived at the outskirts of
Madan, the last IS-held town in the countryside of eastern Raqa province before
IS launched a counterattack last week that pushed the regime forces back, and
fighting has since continued.
Syria army operation in the area, backed by air support from ally Russia, is
separate from the battle for provincial capital Raqa city.
Russian and Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes on ISIL positions and moves
in Akash, Um Mil, Abu Jabilat and Northern and Southern Qastal and the town of
Aqayrabat in Eastern Hama on Thursday.
also heavily pounded the town of Ma'adan and its Southern outskirts in
Southeastern Raqqa and the regions near Deir Ezzur airbase as well as the towns
of Tal al-Qariya, al-Makabat, Panorama and al-Tharda in Deir Ezzur.
of terrorists were killed in the attacks and several of their bases and
positions were smashed.
Syrian army troops had on Saturday completed the siege on the terrorists in the
Central part of the war-hit country, a military source confirmed.
source reported that ISIL-held regions covering almost 3,000sq/km of area in
Homs and Hama province are now under a full siege imposed by the army forces.
source further added that the army men managed to advance against ISIL South of
the town of Ithriya Northeast of Hama and reached their comrades that stormed
ISIL's defense line from their positions North of al-Sha'er region in Eastern
Homs and advanced towards Jabal al-Fasedah region in Eastern Hama.
source went on to say that the army soldier have gained control over all the
roads in the Eastern direction of the town of al-Salamiyah in Hama province,
adding that ISIL withdrew a large number of its forces before the army gained
control over the roads.
source further said that most of the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists in
Aqayrabat region in Hama province are suicide attackers that are in their
positions to carry out suicide raids on the government forces to delay the fall
of the town of Aqayrabat to the army.
Vice President and leader of the State of Law coalition Nouri al-Maliki
welcomed the recent Hezbollah-negotiated deal with ISIS and said the decision
to transfer hundreds of ISIS fighters from Lebanese borders to the Syrian city
of Deir az-Zour was the right decision.
deal has sparked outrage in Iraq with many politicians, including Prime
Minister Haidar Abadi, condemning the deal.
said the deal was part of the battle’s strategy against terrorism, noting that
what happens in Deir az-Zour and Abu Kamal are Syrian matters while overlooking
that these two areas are adjacent to the Iraqi borders where Iraqi troops are
those slamming the deal is Iraqi Al-Ahrar parliamentary bloc Member of
Parliament Awad al-Awadi who said the Syrian government “can go to hell” if
Iraqi blood will be shed for its sake.
who represents the Sadrist movement, added that no Iraqi will accept to
compromise at the expense of the Iraqi people’s blood. In another interview
with Al-Hadath television station, Awadi called on the Iraqi government to take
stronger stances towards the deal.
the spokesperson for the alliance of Arab tribes in Ninevah Sheikh Muzahim
al-Hawyeet told Al-Hadath that tribes reject the deal, adding that transferring
ISIS fighters to areas adjacent to the Iraqi border is a new threat against
also said that the alliance between ISIS and Iranian-backed militias has been
exposed and called on the international coalition to shell any convoy that
attempts to come near Iraqi borders.
militias have allowed ISIS elements to ride buses to get out of Lebanon’s Jroud
and go to Deir al-Zour under an agreement involving the Syrian regime amid
controversial accusations that Hezbollah is making deals at the expense of the
response, Abadi rejected the deal while Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri
warned of going back to square one and rejected any deal that may bring ISIS
back into Iraq or close to its borders.
response to the official Iraqi stance, Hezbollah justified the agreement by
saying that it stipulates transferring ISIS fighters and their families from
Syrian territories to other Syrian territories.
media websites warned of the agreement’s repercussions and reported that
Iranian intelligence members, upon coordination with Maliki and their envoy
Iraj Masjedi, agreed to supply ISIS members with dangerous weapons.
UN human rights chief says civilians trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqah are
paying an “unacceptable price,” suggesting that the US-led coalition
purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group may be violating
international law in the territory.
the extremely high number of reports of civilian casualties this month and the
intensity of the airstrikes on Raqqah, coupled with Daesh’s use of civilians as
human shields, I am deeply concerned that civilians -- who should be protected
at all times -- are paying an unacceptable price and forces involved in
battling Daesh are losing sight of the ultimate goal of this battle,” United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a
statement on Thursday.
top UN human rights official added that “the attacking forces may be failing to
abide by the international humanitarian law principles of precautions,
distinction, and proportionality.”
UN statement further noted that the US-led coalition has conducted nearly 1,100
airstrikes on and near the militant-held city of Raqqah this month, and that
the figure showed a marked rise once compared to 645 aerial attacks last month.
members continue to prevent civilians from fleeing the area, although some
manage to leave after paying large amounts of money to smugglers. We have
reports of smugglers also being publicly executed by Daesh,” Zeid pointed out.
UN Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien said more
than two dozen people were being killed in Raqqah per day.
UN estimates that an average of 27 people are being killed in Raqqah every day,
and up to 25,000 civilians still remain trapped in the city and are
increasingly exposed to the crossfire of the ongoing fighting. They risk being
killed either by airstrikes, or by ISIL (Daesh) snipers, or mines if they try
to flee, or being used as human shields if they remain,” O'Brien stated.
city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was
overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for
most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the following year.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says
Daesh extremists are holding some of the civilians trapped in Raqqah as human
world body says it has documented 151 civilian deaths in six incidents alone in
August, due to US-led airstrikes and clashes between the US-backed militiamen
from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Daesh terrorists in
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of
secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has praised the
victories recently achieved by the movement’s fighters and army soldiers in the
fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists, stressing Lebanon’s soil has been fully
liberated from the extremist elements.
wanted the conclusion of this battle to come at the hands of the Lebanese Army
and this is what happened, and the so-called caliphate of Daesh was defeated,”
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an address in Beirut on Thursday.
his followers via a televised speech, Nasrallah described the gains against the
terrorists as the second liberation after the withdrawal of Israeli military
forces from southern Lebanon and Western Bekaa region in 2000.
stated that Lebanese army soldiers have made gains against terrorists,
underlying that Hezbollah resistance fighters have driven members of the
foreign-sponsored and Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist group from Juroud
Arsal region, located 124 kilometers northeast of Beirut.
Hezbollah leader pointed out that the United States had threatened to cut its
assistance to the Lebanese army in case it did not put an end to its campaign
against terrorists on the border with Syria.
then called upon Lebanese authorities to devise a plan aimed at the liberation
of Sheba'a Farms from Daesh Takfiris, hailing Syrian army soldiers for helping
their Lebanese counterparts liberate the strategic and mountainous region of
stated that he had a meeting in person with President Bashar al-Assad in the
Syrian capital city of Damascus, and convinced him to agree to a deal between
Hezbollah and Daesh, which allowed the transfer of Takfiri terrorists from
Qalamoun to eastern Syria.
in his remarks, the Hezbollah chief offered his sincere felicitations to the
Iraqi nation and government on the liberation of the city of Tal Afar and the
northern province of Nineveh from Daesh terrorists.
on Thursday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the city of Tal Afar
and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist
recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of the Iraqi army,
Federal Police, counterterrorism units, volunteer troops, and Rapid Response
Forces, Abadi said.
in his remarks, Nasrallah praised the Islamic Republic of Iran for its
unwavering support for the anti-Israel resistance front, stressing that Tehran
had offered great assistance to the Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni nations.
is crying over the fate of its orphans (Daesh terrorists),” Nasarallah said,
noting that the Tel Aviv regime had admitted that its plans in Syria had not
Hezbollah chief also described the United States as the real threat to the
international community, warning that the policies of the administration of
President Donald Trump vis-à-vis North Korea were steering the world towards a
Hezbollah chief also criticized recent US accusations that Pakistan was
harboring armed terrorist groups.
An Egyptian court on Wednesday published the names of 296 people who have been
added to the country’s terror list, including some with links to the outlawed
verdict, issued by Cairo’s criminal court on July 24, ruled that the 296 people
be added to the national terrorist list for three years.
said some of the defendants were found guilty of leading the Brotherhood, being
members, funding the group, or harming the national economy and public
per Egyptian law, those on the list are barred from leaving the country, their
assets have been frozen and their passports canceled.
list of names includes several Brotherhood leaders living outside the country.
Among them are Mahmoud Ezzat, the group’s deputy supreme guide who fled Egypt
in 2013, and Secretary-General Ibrahim Mounir, who lives in in London.
were found guilty of planning terror attacks in Egypt while abroad. Figures
designated on the list and living abroad could be arrested upon their return.
December 2013, the government listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist group,
accusing it of involvement in a series of deadly attacks against the state.
country that wages a war on terrorism has to undergo three main steps to
paralyze a group: Leadership decapitation, cutting sources of financing, and
hampering recruitment by labeling it a terrorist organization,” said Said
Sadek, a Cairo-based political sociology professor.
J. Sulliven, adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University,
said: “Terrorists need to be contained by squeezing terror groups of their
financing and other means of recruiting and retaining people.
share videos of animal sacrifice, clerics urge Muslims
leading Muslim clerics, including president of All India Muslim Personal Law
Board Rabi Hasani Nadvi, have urged the community to exercise caution to ensure
that no communal discord occurs while celebrating Bakr Eid or Eid al-Adha on
Saturday. They have urged Muslims to refrain from sharing videos and pictures
of animal sacrifice on social media that could cause “discomfort to
not perform the (animal) sacrifice on roads and in public spaces. Do it in
spacious enclosures . None of the conduct for (sacrifice) should cause
discomfort to our compatriots. Let no tension be created and maintain
discipline. We must not break the law in any situation,” the appeal, which will
be read out in mosques during Friday prayers, stated.
other signatories of the appeal are Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (secretary,
AIMPLB), Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli (member executive committee, AIMPLB),
Saiyed Jalaluddin Umri (ameer, Jamate Islami Hind), Nawaid Hamid (president,
All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat), Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi (head of Darul
Qalam), Saiyed Mahmood Madani (general secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind), Ali
Asghar Imam Mahdi (general manager, Markazi Jamiat Ehle Hadees Hind), and Kalbe
Jawad Naqvi (member, AIMPLB).
appeal will also urge Muslims to form groups to monitor the situation. “Keep in
touch with the local authorities to maintain peace. Don’t spread rumours. Do
the needful after verification of such reports,” it added.
and scholars in Gujarat say that they have been asked to discourage community
members from slaughtering cows and its progeny, in the wake of growing tension
over cow slaughter.
Mohammad Imran Dairywala, secretary, Jamait-e-Ulema-E-Hind, said: “It is not
mandatory to sacrifice a cow. Any good Muslim will not indulge in an act that
hurts others or brings harm to humanity.”
are a country where people of many religions live together. Islam provides for
the sacrifice to be done in purdaah, not by showing off to others. Other communities
like Hindus and Jains, do get disturbed by looking at videos and pictures of
sacrifice,” said Mufti Arif Hakim Falahi, principal of Darul Uloom in Vadodara.
of a self-professed Islamic State module collected arms and ammunition to carry
out terrorist activities in India and to target non-Muslims when they failed to
go to Iraq and Syria, a NIA chargesheet said on Thursday.
emerged during investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which
is probing a module unearthed in March from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
members of the module visited various border areas in India in a bid to go
abroad to join the Islamic State, the chargesheet said. After failing to reach
Iraq and Syria, they bought arms, ammunition and explosives to carry out
terrorist activities in India.
said the module had planned to target non-Muslims, Muslim scholars of other
sects as well as religious places in India.
module propagated the ideology of the Islamic State to attract, motivate and
recruit youths to carry out terrorist acts.”
anti-terror agency on Thursday filed the chargesheet before a special NIA court
in Lucknow against eight persons of the module for being members of the Islamic
State and their involvement in the conspiracy.
NIA booked the accused on charges of waging war against the government and
preparing to procure arms and ammunition and under the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, the Arms Act and the Explosive Substance Act.
named in the chargesheet are Mohammad Faisal, Gauss Mohammad Khan, Mohammad
Azhar, Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Asif Iqbal, Mohammad Atif and Syed Meer
is a resident of Kannauj while others belong to Kanpur -- all in Uttar Pradesh.
accused, Saifullah, also from Kanpur, was killed in a shootout in Lucknow.
investigators said Saifullah along with Atif, Danish, Syed and Gauss was
allegedly involved in a blast on a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train in March. On
August 8 a chargesheet was filed against Atif, Danish, Syed and Gauss in a
special court in Bhopal.
case was initially registered by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad in
March before it was taken over by the NIA.
took ‘Bayath’ (oath of allegiance) to the Islamic State, hatched a criminal
conspiracy with intention of (committing) terrorist activities, recruited
persons, raised funds, organized terrorist camps and carried out terrorist
acts,” the NIA said.
alleged that they conspired to threaten India’s sovereignty.
shifted their hideouts in Lucknow, conducted a trial blast and killed a man in
Kanpur, Ramesh Chandra Shukla, on October 24, 2016, the NIA said.
NIA statement said the accused conducted reconnaissance of Sufi shrine Dewa
Sharif in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and other religious places for planting
China on Thursday sent out a signal that it would object to any discussion
about Pakistan's role in sheltering terrorists during the upcoming BRICS
summit+ , which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi+ . China is
worried Modi may raise the issue at the meeting because he did so at the Goa
summit of BRICS last year while describing Pakistan as the "mother-ship of
also noticed that India, when it comes to Pakistan's counter-terrorism, has
some concerns. I don't think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at
BRICS summit," Hua Chunying, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said
at a briefing. She also indicated that raising the topic might affect the
success of the summit because Chinese leaders may be forced to defend its close
world is paying great attention to the BRICS summit. I hope relevant parties
can work with China to ensure the success of the summit and make due
contributions," Hua said. She meant the five members of BRICS including
India when she mentioned "relevant parties".
time the BRICS summit is taking place on September 3 in Xiamen in China, which
regards Pakistan as an "all-weather friend". India is in a stronger
position to raise the issue because US president Donald Trump recently accused
Pakistan of sheltering terrorists and threatened to withdraw financial aid if
Islamabad refuses to mend its ways. There are chances Chinese leaders might
come to Pakistan's defence+ at the summit.
of the main objectives of BRICS is to enhance cooperation between the five
member countries in fighting against terrorism. But it is difficult for India
to join hands in any meaningful manner unless Beijing adopts a different
attitude on this issue when it comes to the role of Pakistan.
said, "Pakistan is at forefront of counter terror efforts and has made
sacrifices for this. The international community should recognize their
contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan."
added, "China is willing to work with Pakistan and other countries to
enhance our cooperation in counterterrorism. This serves the common interest of
routinely refers to "sacrifices" made by Pakistan in battling
terrorism but refuses to discuss flawed policies of Pakistani military and
government that results in bloodshed across the country.
an interesting twist, the hawkish Global Times indirectly blamed Islam for
terrorism, and said India is mostly free from terrorism because it is largely a
Hindu nation. Terrorism exists in an "arc" of Asian countries
including Pakistan and Philippines with significant Muslim presence, it said.
Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) has warned its cadres against using mobile phones or
social networking sites following the killing of over two dozen militants,
including some top commanders, in August. Police sources said Riyaz Ahmad
Naikoo, who is believed to have taken over as HM’s operational commander
following Yasin Yatoo killing on August 13, issued the warning recently.
surveillance of phones is said to have led forces to many militant hideouts. In
August, three top commanders Abu Dujana, Yatoo and Ayub Lelhari were among 26
killed mostly in South Kashmir. Sources said the three were tracked through
electronic surveillance and human intelligence.
General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan said they can track militants even if they
do not use mobile phones. “In the 1990s, we carried out successful operations
against militants when there were no mobile phones.”
attack kills 2 policemen in Libya
Daesh terrorist drove his explosives-laden car into a checkpoint east of the
coastal Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday, killing two policemen, military
officials said the blast at Nofaliya, 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Sirte,
also wounded two soldiers from the self-styled Libyan National Army, LNA. The
Daesh group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement circulated
attack and the resulting death toll were reported by Col. Muftah Amgharief,
from the security force guarding oil facilities in eastern Libya, and Faisal
Ahbale, spokesman for the army's 101st Brigade. The incident and the death toll
were also reported by the LNA spokesman on his Facebook page.
attack came just over a week after Daesh militants beheaded 11 people in an
attack on a checkpoint in the central district of al-Jufra, some 300 kilometers
(185 miles) south of Sirte, which Daesh held until Libyan forces expelled the
militants late last year.
of Daesh militants are now believed to be roaming the vast deserts around the
city, preying on travelers and attacking isolated outposts or convoys belonging
to the army or rival militias.
has been rife with chaos since a 2011 popular uprising that toppled and later
killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Rival militias, many led by
extremists, hold sway over large swathes of territory, while three rival
administrations struggle to exercise authority.
deserts of central and southern Libya have been largely lawless since 2011,
with an array of armed groups holding sway and controlling overland crossings
into neighboring countries.
officials in Somalia have confirmed that the 10 people who were recently killed
in a joint US-Somali raid in Bariire village were civilians.
10 people were civilians. They were killed accidentally... The government and
relatives will discuss about compensation. We send condolence to the families,”
media outlets quoted lawmaker Mohamed Ahmed Abtidon as saying at a public
funeral held for the victims on Thursday.
least 10 people, including three children, were shot dead on Friday when the
Somali army, supported by US troops, carried out an operation in the village of
Bariire, which is located about 50 kilometers from the capital Mogadishu.
US Africa Command confirmed that American troops had been involved in the
Bariire operation and that the command was investigating reports of civilian
fatal assault was carried out under the expanded powers that President Donald
Trump had granted to US troops in Somalia in March.
authorities have not publicly commented on the raid since Friday.
military initially said all the dead were members of the al-Shabab Takfiri militant
group but later acknowledged some civilians had died.
Mogadishu government, however, later appointed a high-level investigation into
the incident which was due to give its findings on Thursday.
Hassan Ali, a clan elder, earlier said that they had reached a deal with the
government late on Wednesday.
met the government last night and agreed on three points: a national burial
where the government officials will attend and admit the killings,
compensation, and that the government will solve the clan conflict in the lower
Shabelle region so that such incidents do not take place again."
Bariire operation is likely to draw questions about Washington's growing
foothold in Somalia.
forces and African Union peacekeepers had fought to take Bariire village back
from militants earlier this month. The region has also long been plagued by
clan conflicts for control of the fertile farmland.
White House has granted the military broader authority to carry out strikes in
Somalia against al-Shabab militants.
has been torn apart by civil war since 1991.
an al-Qaeda-aligned militant group, was forced out of the capital by African
Union troops in 2011, but still controls parts of the countryside and carries
out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.
President Omar al-Bashir has issued a presidential decree pardoning Mudawi
Ibrahim, a prominent rights activist arrested last year for alleged spying.
December, Ibrahim was detained -- and held without trial -- after being accused
of conducting “espionage” against the Sudanese government at the behest of
court accused the activist of “fabricating” information that was later used in
an Amnesty International report about Khartoum’s alleged use of chemical
weapons in the restive Darfur region.
with a handful of his colleagues, Ibrahim had also faced accusations of
attempting to undermine the Sudanese state, making unauthorized contact with
foreign embassies, and treason -- all offenses that can potentially carry the
lawyers hailed the presidential pardon, which was issued late Tuesday.
to Anadolu Agency on Wednesday morning, Nabil Adeeb, head of Ibrahim’s defense
team, said the move served to confirm his client’s innocence.
welcome the presidential decree pardoning Mr. Ibrahim,” Adeeb said, going on to
call for the reform of Sudan’s entire judicial system with a view to making it
immediately, al-Bashir’s presidential decree calls for the release of Ibrahim
and five detained colleagues.
Muslims across the world mark the 2017 Eid-el-Kabir, former President Goodluck
Jonathan, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike
Ekweremadu and former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, have
expressed greetings, and called for prayers for Nigeria.
in a statement by his spokesman Ikechukwu Eze, also urged Nigerians to make
individual sacrifices for the betterment of our nation and greater good of
further urged Nigerians to pray for the "less privileged among us and show
them the love of God demonstrated through us, His creations."
said: "As Nigerian Muslims mark Eid-el Kabir (Eid al-Adha) my family and I
join in their celebration. This eid celebrates Abraham, a patriarch of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam and is thus an opportunity to bring humanity together.
his part, Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity,
Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the quest for
an economically viable and politically stable Nigeria.
also appealed for prayers from all citizens irrespective of their religious
affiliations, for peace and unity in the country.
is significant that the Eid-el-Kabir and Jummat will be celebrated in one day.
This tells us that all prayers offered during this solemn day will no doubt
command double mercies of Allah towards us all," he said.
who is currently in Saudi Arabia performing the Holy Pilgrimage, also called on
Nigerians to pray for the good health of President Muhammadu Buhari and God's
guidance for all persons in positions of authority.
Ekweremadu called on Nigerians to eschew all forms of recrimination and imbibe
self-sacrifice, forgiveness and other higher virtues that promote national
unity and development.
a goodwill message to Muslim faithful signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr.
Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President said the season presents an
opportunity for reflection on national challenges and how they can be
his own part, the former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark called for
peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, as guarantee to meaningful development.
a statement, Mark expressed concern about divisive agitations in different
parts of the country, and cautioned against any actions that threatened the
unity of Nigeria.
however, noted that there is a need to address perceived imbalances with
collective will and understanding, to effect changes in the current political
and constitutional arrangement.
the leadership of the House of Representatives has enjoined Muslim faithful to
use the Eid-el-Kabir festival to promote unity, tolerance, peaceful coexistence
and the spirit of sacrifice.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara noted that the country could only
fulfill its great potentials as a nation if the citizens continued to foster
unity, peace, security and stability as well as show greater respect and love
for one another.
a statement to mark this year's Sallah celebration, issued by his Special
Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, Dogara reiterated his
call for sustained prayers for the leadership of the country at all levels.
said: "This is a moment for sober reflections; I enjoin you to use the
period to uphold the spiritual benefit of the celebration by extending A hand
of friendship and solidarity across all divides and imbibing the spirit of
sacrifice and obedience to the higher authority as exemplified by Prophet
Ibrahim and upheld by Prophet Muhammed.
the same vein, Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Suleimon Lasun Yussuff urged
to Nigerians especially the Muslim faithful to continue to eschew violence and
criminality and learn to live in peace and harmony.
a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wole Oladimeji, Lasun urged
Muslims to imbibe the spiritual lessons of the festival.
said the Holy Prophet's teachings of love, justice, fairness, peaceful
co-existence with one another, honesty and tolerance in all their dealings with
their Christian brothers and sisters must not be lost.
Sues for Peace, Tolerance
State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has felicitated with Muslims across
the country especially in Bayelsa on the occasion of the 2017 Eid-el-Kabir.
a statement released yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel
Iworiso-Markson, the governor congratulated all Muslims and urged them to
continue to pray for peace, progress and sustenance of the nation's democracy.
governor also implored them to work hard to preserve the unity of the country
and promote religious and ethnic tolerance in their everyday endeavor so as to
make the country a better place.
equally called on all Muslim faithful to pray and support political leaders in
the country who are dedicated in ensuring that the dividends of democracy
reaches their door steps.
Remember the Significance of the Season
State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has reminded Muslim faithful of the
significance of the Eid-el-Kabir. The governor in his Sallah message said the
festival was ment to celebrate the love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind
through sacrifice, devotion and faith.
of our ethnic and religious affiliations, I urge Kogities to use the
opportunity of the holy celebration to rededicate themselves to selfless sacrifices
for the benefit of our neighbours and indeed the progress of Kogi Staten,"
the governor said.
urged the people of the state to be their brothers' keepers and join hands
together to build a state they will be proud to bequeath to their children.
Felicitates with Muslims
River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has felicitated with Muslims in
Nigeria as they celebrate this year's Eid-el Kabir.
governor, in his goodwill message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on
Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, said: "As we
celebrate, I enjoin the Muslim Ummah and indeed all people of goodwill to
remember the lessons of the celebration which is sacrifice, obedience and love.
implore you to channel your thoughts and creative energies in a positive
direction to help the government realise its lofty dreams of a better state and
country for all of us. The Muslim community should continue to join hands with
people of other faiths to maintain the peace in the state, as peace is a precondition
entreating the Muslim faithful to stay committed in the worship of God, Ayade
said: "We should remember Allah's faithfulness to His beloved Prophet
Ibrahim which is a clear testimony that there is abundant reward in fidelity to
Allah's injunctions." Ajimobi Preaches Unity and Togetherness
State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has admonished Nigerians to shun acts
capable of disrupting the unity, togetherness and peaceful co-existence of the
his message to Islamic faithful on the occasion of this year's Eid-El-Kabir
yesterday, Ajimobi said it was only in an atmosphere of peace and unity that
the country could achieve the desired greatness.
governor who spoke through his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy,
Mr. Yomi layinka, condemned what he called hate speeches and the ember of
discord being stoked by ethnic agitators in some parts of the country.
the benefit of the hindsight, he described the actions of agitators in the
country as an ill-wind that would not blow anybody any good.
said: "We cannot say we are brothers and sisters and still be carrying
guns and machetes against one another. What do we stand to benefit by killing
and maiming ourselves?
congratulating Muslims, the governor urged them to use the occasion of the
Eid-El-Kabir to pray for the peace, progress and economic emancipation of the
Group Call for Prayer, Unity
Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on Muslim faithful in the
state and Nigerian in general to use the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir celebration
to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and stability of the state and country.
the state chapter of a socio-political organisation, Asiwaju Grassroots
Foundation (AGF), has felicitated with all Muslims in the state and across the
country on the occasion of the festival.
in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, called on Nigerians of
all faiths to join hands with the government of
Muhammadu Buhari in its determination to build a peaceful and harmonious
governor tasked adherents of Islam to imbibe the lessons of commitment,
dedication and obedience to higher authority as was demonstrated by Prophet
Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to the will of God
which the Eid-El-Kabir commemorates.
Preaches Selfless Sacrifice
State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has enjoined Muslim faithful to
demonstrate the virtue of selfless sacrifice as they celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir
a statement issued in Abeokuta yesterday, the governor said: "While I join
my Muslim brothers and sisters to celebrate this holy day, I urge you to
reflect on the essence of the festival.
known as the 'Festival of Sacrifice', the Eid-el-Kabir presents an opportunity
for us to reflect on the faith with which Ibrahim (Abraham) willingly agreed to
sacrifice his son and was set to let go of his personal belief in obedience to
the command of Allah.
this, we should lay aside all forms of religious, ethnic and tribal sentiments
in the interest of unity, peace, progress and prosperity of not only ourselves
but also the nation.
I call on all of us to ensure that as we celebrate, and seek the face of Allah
to be merciful unto us as well as heal our land. We should not relent in
praying for wisdom, with which our leaders will see our nation through these
Calls for Prayer
State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has felicitated with the Muslim community on the
celebration of this year's EId-el-Kabir.
his Sallah message yesterday, Wike urged Muslims to pray for the unity and
peace of the nation as they celebrate.
called on all Muslim faithful to use the EId-el-Kabir celebration to re-dedicate
themselves to the ideals of peace, security and friendship, assuring faithful
that the state government and security agencies have put in place security
measures to ensure a peaceful celebration of the festival.
governor urged Nigerians to promote religious tolerance, adding that such
virtue would ensure peace across the country and enhance national development.
Urges Nigerians to Shun Hate Speeches
State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has charged Nigerians to shun hate speeches and
collaborate with the government to surmount the plethora of problems bedeviling
governor, who stated this in his goodwill message issued in Asaba yesterday by
his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, to mark this year's Eid-El-Kabir,
stressed the need for Nigerians to be their brother's keeper.
said: "I call on all Muslims and indeed Nigerians to use the period to
reflect on the various challenges facing the nation. It takes the concerted
efforts of all to achieve meaningful development in any nation especially in a
period of economic recession.
must shun hate speeches because when these type of speeches are heard outside
the shores of the country, it discourages foreign direct investments and make
local investors to be cautious which will further endanger our fragile
Places Restriction on Vehicular Movement
State Government has placed a restriction on vehicular movement to allow for a
hitch-free celebration of Eid-el-Kabir in the state.
governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, in a statement by his Director of
Press Affairs, Mallam Abdullahi Bego, said the measure becomes necessary in
order to ensure the safety and security of people across the state.
said: "His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the placement
of restriction on all vehicular movement from 10p.m.tonight (Thursday) until
statement advised members of the public to keep all vehicles away from the
road, exception is however given to vehicles on official duty and with valid
statement read: "The Yobe State Government takes this measure in
consultation with the heads of security and law enforcement agencies to ensure
smooth, secure and hitch-free Eid prayers today (Friday)."
public is also advised to cooperate with security agents to ensure hitch-free
called on Muslim faithful to make sacrifices that will make the world a better
place for all.
governor, in a message to the state on Eid-el-Kabir celebration, said:
"The acts of sacrifice in this festive period, symbolise our willingness
to give up things and bounties that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts
for the sake of others.
must learn to make sacrifices and strive towards the attainment of a happy
society wherein we shall all live as our brother's keepers. We must make
sacrifices to share the good things we have with our neighbours, the poor and
the needy among us to enable them have a meaningful livelihood."
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has congratulated Muslims in the
country on the celebration of this year's Eid-el- Kabir.
charged them not to forget the very tenets of the religion, which are love,
obedience and perseverance as they celebrate the festival.
whose goodwill message was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant on
Media, Jackson Udom, urged Muslim faithful to eschew bitterness and hatred, and
imbibe the spirit of love, unity and faith as they celebrate Eid-el-kabir
charged Nigerians to continue to use the period to pray for the leadership of
the country, noting that "the leadership of this country needs prayers and
support from everyone, without any regard for political, religious or ethnic
leanings, because economic hardship does not recognise politics, religion nor
ethnic divides. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to salvage the situation
for the benefit of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora."
in Acts that Enhance National Integration, Tambuwal Urges Nigerians
State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has called on Nigerians to always
promote acts that would enhance national integration and brotherhood.
was contained in a goodwill message in commemoration of this year's Sallah
celebration issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public
Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, which was made available to journalists in Sokoto.
stressed the need for Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of godliness, charity,
perseverance and spiritual intercession for the nation as they celebrate
described the Sallah period as one that honours the willingness of Prophet
Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to show submission to Allah's command.
Us Rededicate Ourselves to the Service of Allah, Says Obaseki
our Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-el-Kabir today, The Edo State Governor,
Godwin Obaseki, has offered felicitations on behalf of his government and the
people of state.
to him, "We have put in place measures to guarantee that everyone is
secure in the state during the celebrations of this very significant event.
therefore urge you all to rededicate yourselves to the service of Almighty God
and continue to manifest the essence of Eid-el-Kabir, which is obedience to
God's command and the expression of love towards all."
Believe in United Nigeria, Says APC
All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged Nigerians to eschew all forms of
violence, and have in peaceful coexistence.
a goodwill message issued by the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie
Oyegun, to felicitate with Muslim faithful in the country on the occasion of
Eid-el-Kabir, the party expressed worry, saying: "The wave of agitations
across the country has the potential of undermining the unity and our
relationship across religious and ethnic divides.
we gather around family and friends to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, we should be
reminded of the significance of the holy festival which is to celebrate the
love and grace of the Almighty God to mankind through sacrifice, devotion and
Gov Distributes Food Items to Villages
part of efforts to bring succour to the less privileged people especially in
this festive period, the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday
donated food items to the needy at Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, Lusa
and Boi villages in Bogoro Local Government Area of the state.
the donation on behalf of the governor, former member of the state House of
Assembly from Bogoro state constituency, Hon. Rifkatu Samson, explained that
items to be distributed include 150 bags of rice and 50 bags of maize to the
according to him, were 500 bags of cement, 50 bundles of zinc, 10 drums of
paints, mats and kettles for selected mosques in the two local government
governor, who noted that orphans and widows were mostly targeted, said the
gesture was aimed to make them enjoy the Sallah festival like other citizens.
Osinkolu Sue for Patriotism, Love
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has felicitated
with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid- el- Kabir, urging them to continue to
uphold the lessons of love, loyalty and sacrifice which are the hallmark of the
in a goodwill message signed by his Special Assistant on
Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said the Eid el-Kabir festival also offers another
opportunity for sober reflection, soul searching and spiritual renewal which
God demands from the faithful.
minister urged Nigerians to continue to pray and work for peace and unity in
the country. He advised the Muslim faithful and adherents of other faiths to
always demonstrate love and understanding towards one another in the quest for
a greater and more prosperous Nigeria.
an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Dr. Olusegun
has felicitated with Muslims for witnessing yet another Eid-el-Kabir
celebration, urging them to use the festive period to pray for the country to
be able to overcome its current challenges.
Baraje, Mustapha Task Muslims on Peace, Unity
State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday tasked Muslims in the state
to use the period of this year's celebration to pray for peace and unity of the
a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, Ahmed said the
opportunity by Allah "to enable us witness yet another celebration should
be used to pray for peace and unity in the country."
who urged Muslims to pray for safe return of pilgrims from the holy land, said
Nigerians should be ambassadors of a united and prosperous country rather than
engage in hate and disunity.
a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu
Baraje, and the Special Adviser to the Senate President, Hon. Mashood Mustapha,
also felicitated with Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el- Kabir.
two in separate statements urged Muslims to use the period to pray for peace
and tranquility in the country.
Governor, PDP, Others Felicitate with Muslims
State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and the state chapter of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have felicitated with Muslims on the celebration
of the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
Bello asked the Muslim Ummah not to allow the zeal and commitment of the
present administration to fix the country's economy to slip off, the PDP
challenged them to remain fervent in prayer for the resuscitation of the
in the message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity
Mr. Jide Orintunsin, said: "There can be no better time than now to
reposition the country for greatness."
its statement, PDP rejoiced with all the Muslims in the state, saying: "We
should avoid anything that will bring our great religion into disrepute."
Calls for Sacrifice, Forgiveness
Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, has congratulated Muslims on the
celebration of this year's Eid-el-Kabir urging them to imbibe the spirit of
sacrifice, forgiveness and selfless service as part of the virtues of
Islam.Daniel, in a goodwill message signed by his Media Officer, Ayo Giwa,
stated that Muslims should be guided by the spirit of the festival, which was a
symbolic demonstration of total obedience to the will of Allah, kindness to one
another and service to humanity as exhibited by Prophet Ibrahim.
according to the former governor, goes beyond festivity but rather, to embrace
love, eschew bitterness and offer prayers for genuine peace, unity and progress
of Nigeria and its leadership at all tiers of governance.
also urged Muslims to always preach against religion extremism and allow
lessons of the season to continue to guide their conducts long after the
Preaches Peace, Lauds Amosun
member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abiodun Akinlade, has felicitated
with Nigerians, especially Muslims in Ogun State, as they celebrate this year's
who is the Baba Adinni of Yewa, urged Muslim faithful to see the significance
of the season as an act of devotion meant to inculcate the Islamic virtues of
obedience, peace, devotion, and faith in the will of Allah.
praying for a hitch-free Sallah celebration, Akinlade, who is a governorship
aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, canvassed for
genuine love, respect for one another, generosity and kindness in the state and
former representative of Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency also lauded the
state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for uplifting the standard of governance in
the state, enjoining Muslims and Christians to continue their support for the
being alive to witness this year's Eid-el-Kabir, Nigerian telecoms company,
Globacom, has congratulated Nigerian Muslims as they mark the feast of
also felicitated with Nigerian pilgrims who successfully performed this year's
Hajj, urging them to use the occasion of this year's festival to thank Allah
for the progress made so far by the government in returning peace to some parts
of the country once ravaged by insurgents.
to a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the telecoms giant encouraged the
Ummah in Nigeria not to relent in their prayers, adding: "We urge you all
to use this occasion to continue your supplications for the peace and
prosperity of the nation, while being your brothers' keepers and helping one
another to surmount current challenges in the country."
Kalu felicitates with Muslims, Preaches Peace
businessman and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has joined
muslim faithfuls across the country to celebrate the Eid-il-Kabir .
is even as he urged the faithful to embrace peace and imbibe the values of
Prophet Mohammed in their daily lives.
a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Peter Eze, Kalu said Muslims have
immensely contributed to the building of the nation hence, should avoid
anything that would not be progressive.
also congratulated all Nigerians who despite the economic situations
successfully performed the Hajj this year in fulfillment of a key injunction of
urged the faithful to continue to pray for peace in the country, noting that
the fervent prayers by individuals and peace loving religious groups has
accounted for the peace that Nigeria still enjoy as a nation in recent years.
former governor said: "I want to urge our Muslim brothers to always be
guided by the attributes and lessons from the life and times of Holy Prophet
Mohammed which symbolises peace, love, tolerance, and good neighbourliness. We
must put Nigeria first in all our considerations and endeavours.
will experience quicker progress towards the f security and stability which are
essential for development by abiding by the rule of law and embracing our
cultural values." he said .
Lawrence Njoku, Gbenga Salau, Hendrix Oliomogbe, Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Nnamdi
Akpa, Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Tunji Omofoye and Ayodele Afolabi
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has charged Nigerians to shun
hate-speeches and collaborate with the government to surmount the plethora of
problems bedeviling the nation.
a goodwill message in Asaba yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles
Aniagwu, the governor said there was need for Nigerians to be their brothers'
therefore, urged the Muslim faithful to imbibe the spirit of peace, sacrifice,
love, piety, tolerance and mutual co-existence to underscore the significance
of the festival.
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his Sallah message called on Muslims
to imbibe the values of sacrifice, love and continue to foster unity as they
join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate this year's Eid-el-Kabir.
State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, enjoined Muslim faithful to
demonstrate the virtue of selfless sacrifice as they celebrate.In a statement
signed by the state's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adedayo
Adeneye in Abeokuta, the governor said: "While I join my Muslim brothers
and sisters to celebrate this holy day, I urge you to reflect on the essence of
the festival. I also urge you to do so in a state of piety as it is a solemn
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State in a statement signed by his Chief Press
Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor and made available to journalists in Abakaliki
yesterday, described unity and religious tolerance as sine qua non to achieving
cohesion and peace in any country and called on Muslim faithful to preach peace
as they celebrate this year's Eid-el-Kabir.
Godwin Obaseki of Edo State called for unity among the people.A statement by
his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, quoted
the governor as saying: "As our Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate
Eid-el-Kabir today, I offer my felicitation on behalf of the government and
good people of Edo State.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, has urged Muslim faithful to pray for
peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the state and country.
in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, called on Nigerians to
join hands with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in its
determination to build a peaceful and harmonious country.
his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, has charged Muslims and Nigerians
in general to be ready to make the sacrifices necessary for the progress of the
the same vein, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has urged the Muslims to
use the period to continue to promote and abide by the core values of Islam for
the sustenance of peace, progress and unity of the country.The former Governor
of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has implored the Muslims to imbibe the
spirit of sacrifice, forgiveness and selfless service as part of the virtues of
Qadeer told me army group was against N-tests, says Hashmi
Veteran politician Javed Hashmi claims Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan told him that a
group in the army was not in favour of Pakistan’s nuclear tests.
to the media here on Thursday, the senior politician said the US attempted to
roll back the nuclear programme but the democratic governments continued with
the [nuclear] programme.
said there was a group of people who did not want to see Pakistan a nuclear
lobby like Pervez Musharraf was agreed to compromise on country’s nuclear
programme,” he claimed.
said Benazir Bhutto did not cap the nuclear programme but she introduced
said Nawaz Sharif had refused to attend the calls from the US when Pakistan was
going for nuclear detonation.
said the former dictator disgraced hero of nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer
2003 at a ceremony hosted by the Saudi Arabian embassy, Dr Qadeer informed [the
attendees] about the threats he was receiving from Pervez Musharraf. Admiral
Abdul Aziz and Syed Mushahid Hussain were also present at that moment,” he
Hashmi said at that time Dr Qadeer was disappointed as Musharraf had made life
tough for him.
said the person, who had withdrawn the security given to Benazir Bhutto, was
her actual killer.
said Pervez Musharraf had stated that he would not provide security to Benazir
Bhutto, so he should be made accountable for the assassination of the former
Musharraf is the actual murderer of Benazir Bhutto and he should be brought
back to Pakistan,” he said.
said: “There is not a single leader [in parliament] who could hold talks with
the US. The leader has been disqualified.”
The Ministry of Interior, on Thursday, issued a statement directing the general
public not to donate animal hides to the banned organisation already existed on
the ministry list.
a public awareness message, the ministry issued a list of 71 banned outfits and
warned that extension of any donation in cash or kind to these organisations is
a cognizable offence.
stated that donations can only be extended to such welfare organisations or
outfits which have not been placed in the banned category as per the national
or international laws.
list of the banned or under watch organizations issued by the Ministry of
Interior include, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Al Harmain Foundation,
Sipah-i-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP), Rabita Trust, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM),
Anjuman-e-Imamia Gilgit Baltistan, Laskar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Muslim Students
Organization (MSO) Gilgit, Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Tanzeem Ahle Sunnat
Wal Jamat Gilgit, Tehrik-e-Jaffria Pakistan (TJP), Balochistan Bunyad Parast
Army, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammad (TNSM), Tehreek Nafaz-e- Aman,
Tehreek-e-Islami, Tahafuz Hadudullah, Al-Qaida, Balochistan Waja Liberation
Army, Millat-e-Islamic Pakistan (Ex SSP), Baloch Republican Party Azad, Khuddam-ul-Islam
Balochistan United Army, Islami Tehreek Pakistan (Ex TJP), Islam Mujahidin,
Jameet-ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Islam, Jamat-ul-Furqan, Balochistan National
Liberation Army (BNLA), Hizb-ul-Tahreer, Khana-E-Hikmat Gilgit Baltistan Gilgit,
Khair-un-Naas International Trust (Splinter Group of Jamat-ul-Daawa (JuD),
Tehrik-e- Taliban Swat, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Tehrik-e- Taliban
Mohmand (TTM), Islamic Students Movement of Pakistan, Tariq Geedar Group (TGG),
Lashkar-e-lslami, Abdullah Azam Brigade, Ansar-ul-lslam, East Turkemenistan
Islamic Movement (ETIM), Haji Namdaar Group, Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan(IMU), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Islamic Jihad Union (IJU),
Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), 313 Brigade, Balochistan Liberation Front
(BLF), Tehrik-e- Taliban Bajaur (TTB), Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LeB), Amar bil
Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir (Haji Namdaar Group), Balochistan Liberation United
Front (BLUF), Baloch Student Organization Azad (BSO-A), Balochistan Musalla
Defah Tanzeem (BMDT), United Baloch
Army(UBA), Shia Tulaba Action Committee Gilgit, Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz
(JSMM), Markaz Sabeel Organization Gilgit, Daish/ISIL/IS/ISIS, Tanzeem Naujawana-e-Ahle Sunnat (TNA) Gilgit,
Jamat Ul Ahrar (JuA), Peoples Aman Committee (Layari), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
Al-Almi (LeJA), Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) Ex-SSP, Ansar-ul-Hussain, Tehreek-eAzadi-Jammu &
least three people were killed and two wounded in a landmine explosion in
Mohmand Agency on Friday, officials said.
to political administration officials, the blast occurred near Shati Mena area
of Ambar tehsil, leaving three people dead and two others injured. A man and
his son are among the dead.
tribal leader, Malik Ali Rehman, and a second person wounded in the blast have
been shifted to a local hospital for treatment.
The chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), Tahirul Qadri, arrived here on
Thursday morning from London, promising to continue his struggle for justice
for those killed in Model Town during a police operation in June 2014.
Qadri, who keeps popping in and out of the country, this time returned after a
10-day foreign tour and, according to party sources, will have a longer stay
here “till Justice Baqar Najfi’s report is made public and cases regarding the
Model Town tragedy are finalised.”
to the media at Lahore airport, he said he had returned to the country to
celebrate Eidul Azha here, whereas deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif left
Pakistan on the occasion.
court has put provincial government on notice for Sept 12 to present its
position on the Justice Najfi Report. “This gives us a hope for justice,” he
PAT chief said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had got a chance to
restore its credibility in references against the Sharifs and it must.
said under the NAB ordinance, the accountability courts were bound to give
verdict within a month.
Supreme Court had allowed them six months, which was sufficient time to
proceed, he added.
prime minister Nawaz Sharif is the main cause of corruption in Pakistan. If he
is not taken to task quickly, he can create instability in the country by
colluding with foreign forces,” Qadri alleged. Nawaz was not thrown out only
because of UAE work permit (Iqama), but all references were those of corruption
and it would soon be evident, Qadri maintained.
said the real investigation into the Model Town killings would only start after
the ouster of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, which, he hoped, would happen
Leaks have claimed political life of the elder brother, while the ‘Metro Leaks’
would end politics of the younger one (Shahbaz Sharif),” said.
alleged that as soon as Shahbaz became the chief minister, they (Sharifs)
started working on a global business plan “and now their business empire
spreads across the globe”.
Nine years after the assasination of former Prime Miniter and Pakistan People's
Party leader Benazir Bhutto, an anti-terrorism court has sentenced two police
officers to 17 years of prison for 'negligence' under Sections 119 and 201 of
the Pakistan Penal Code.
Muhammad Asghar Khan announced the verdict on Thursday following the completion
of the arguments of the police officers CPO Saud Aziz and SP Rawal Town Khurram
Shahzad's lawyers on Wednesday.
five others accused in the case were aquitted, Former President of Pakistan
General (r) Pervez Musharraf was declared to be a proclaimed offender in the
verdict due to his failure to appear in the court.
An anti-terrorism court on Thursday acquitted five men - accused of being
Taliban - who had been blamed for being involved in the 2007 assassination of
former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and branded former military ruler General
(r) Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in the murder trial.
verdicts are the first to be issued since Benazir Bhutto, the first female
prime minister of a Muslim country, was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack
nearly a decade ago, sparking street violence and plunging Pakistan into months
of political turmoil.
judge also found two police officers guilty of "mishandling the crime
scene", the court official said, making them the only people to have been
convicted over the assassination.
Aziz, who was the police chief in Rawalpindi at the time of Bhutto's
assassination, and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17
years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 0.5 million each.
Shahzad was accused of hosing down the crime scene less than two hours after
the killing - an act the United Nations described in a report as
"fundamentally inconsistent with Pakistani police practice".
Aziz was accused of both giving Shahzad permission to hose down the scene, and
of refusing multiple times to allow an autopsy of Bhutto's body to go ahead.
two former police officials had earlier been granted bail and were present in
court at the time the verdict was announced. According to the verdict, the
former policemen had been awarded 10 years in prison under Section 119 of the
Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and seven years under Section 201 of the PPC.
president and military ruler Musharraf is alleged to have been part of a broad
conspiracy to have his political rival killed before elections. He has denied
was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for
murder in 2013, in an unprecedented move against an ex-army chief, challenging
beliefs the military is immune from prosecution.
he has been in self-exile in Dubai ever since a travel ban was lifted three
anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi ruled he had "absconded", a court
official told reporters outside, saying it had also ordered the confiscation of
judge acquitted five men who had been accused of being Taliban militants
involved in the conspiracy to kill Bhutto on December 27, 2007.
were set to walk free nearly 10 years after they were first arrested, though a
defence lawyer said it was not yet clear when they would be released.
clients were held for nine years and eight months for nothing," Malik
Jawad Khalid, the lawyer for three of the men - Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul
and Sher Zaman - told AFP.
government blamed the assassination on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud,
who denied any involvement. He was killed in a US drone attack in 2009.
has reiterated that Pakistan as a forefront state in war against terrorism, has
rendered great sacrifices in this regard, reported Radio Pakistan.
Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Hua Chunying during her regular press briefing
in Beijing said that the international community should acknowledge and fully
recognize contributions of Pakistan.
said that China is willing to work with Pakistan and other countries to enhance
cooperation on counter-terrorism and protect regional security and stability.
continues to be shaken by intensified anti-Muslim attacks
months after a deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque, its president's car was
deliberately set on fire, officials said on Wednesday. These incidents come as
nationalist or right-wing extremists in the Canadian province have become more
vocal against immigration and Muslim community. The rise of the anti-Muslim
far-right in the West is something even Canada, host to over 1 million Muslims,
hateful act" targeted the mosque and its president Mohamed Labidi in
addition to "a long series" of other incidents, the Islamic Cultural
Center of Quebec said in a statement.
fire was set on Aug. 6 but was only made public on Wednesday in order to allow
police to investigate.
officials and the mayor linked the fire to an Aug. 4 announcement of the
upcoming opening of the city's first Muslim cemetery.
would be a strange coincidence" if the two were not somehow related, said
Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume.
are not ruling out any motive, whether it was a hate crime against Muslims or
just a random act of vandalism, said police spokesman Jean-Francois Vezina.
had championed the new Muslim cemetery as a sign of support for Quebec City's
relatively small Muslim community following an avowed white supremacist's
killing of six worshippers at a local mosque in January. The "increase in
hateful gestures" toward the Muslim community in Quebec City is
"worrying," he commented.
June, a group left a pig's severed head at the entrance of the mosque targeted
by the lone gunman. Police are investigating these incidents but no suspects
have been named so far.
Canadian statistical agency, Statistics Canada, found that there was an
increase of reported hate crimes against Muslims in Canada from 2014 to 2015,
from 99 incidents to 159, an increase of 60 percent. The agency also found that
hate crimes against Catholics also rose by more than 33 percent, however Jews
remain the most persecuted religious group in the country, making up nearly
half of all victims.
membership numbers of far-right groups in Canada might not be skyrocketing but
they are steadily increasing nonetheless. While being accused of being
Neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists, they do not in fact fly swastika banners, perform
the Roman salute in rallies or do much of anything that would fall under the
category of something like 'white supremacist' activity, they are do however
hold a very hard stance against Islam.
like Geert Wilders in The Netherlands, they are critical of Islam, saying that
it does not comply with Western values. They are in-fact more radical than the
civic nationalist Marine Le Pen and her Front National in France.
there are currently no viable political parties in Canada which threaten the
establishment like the Front National or Wilders' Party for Freedom, they do
have some public and online presence. While the situation in Canada might sound
like it's increasingly volatile, the numbers say that such activities in Europe
and the United States are much, much more widespread both online with boots on
settles first Muslim ban lawsuit with campaigners
US government will allow people barred from entering the country in the early
days of President Donald Trump's travel ban to reapply for visas following a
legal settlement with campaigners.
the terms of the agreement, announced on Thursday, the government must contact
all individuals who had been turned away at borders as a result of the
president's first executive order that came into force on January 27, and
inform them they may seek re-entry.
does not guarantee applicants will receive new visas nor does it award them
compensation, but obliges the government to act in "good faith" when
processing their paperwork.
settlement also guarantees that those who reapply for their visas can do so
with the help of the Department of Justice liaison for a three-month period.
settlement brings an end to the case Darweesh v Trump, a nationwide
class-action suit filed by two Iraqi men detained at New York's JFK airport
because of the ban. They were represented by numerous rights groups including
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
fight will continue'
was the first legal challenge to the original Muslim ban, and had previously
succeeded in gaining an injunction on removing anyone from the US on the basis
of the ban.
the government dragged its feet for far too long, it has finally agreed to do
the right thing and provide those excluded under the first Muslim ban with
proper notice of their right to come to the United States," Lee Gelernt,
an ACLU lawyer involved in the case, said.
the "legal fight against Muslim ban 2.0" would continue, he added,
with the Supreme Court set to hold another hearing in October.
said it is unclear how many people will benefit from the settlement because the
government has refused to disclose the total.
first order, which banned for three months nationals from seven Muslim-majority
countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen - and refugees
for four months, caused chaos at airports and triggered protests across major
of nationals from the countries affected by the ban were detained on arrival
despite having valid visas or even residency documents.
was quickly challenged in court by campaigners and several US states, and was
suspended on February 3.
revised version was announced in March, barring nationals from the countries
mentioned in the previous ban, except Iraq. The revised order also said that
visa and green card holders were exempt.
administration scored a partial victory in June, when the Supreme Court ruled
that it could proceed with the ban, though people with a "bona fide
relationship" to a US person or entity were exempt.
Muslims are turning mosques into shelters for Hurricane Harvey victims
across the state of Texas are being turned into shelters for the victims of
Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), which represents 21 Islamic centres
in the area, has opened four of their properties as functioning 24-hour
will provide “a dry place to stay, food and emotional support for displaced
residents”, its website says.
society is partnering with Muslim charity Baitulmaal, which is making hygiene
products, food and water available to those in need.
Khan, president of ISGH told the Mic news website: "This is an obligation,
a religious obligation to help others. When you give you don’t give only to
your own family… You give to anybody who needs help.”
the beginning there was some difficulty, as many roads leading to the mosques
were inaccessible. However Mr Khan made some phone calls, and volunteers soon
arrived with bottled water, sleeping bags and supplies.
numbers of Muslim volunteers grew so large that many were instructed to offer
their services at local city shelters.
ISGH have also been fundraising, and both money and additional supplies are
making their way to Houston from the Muslim community across America.
addition, 50 doctors from the community have offered their services, should
anybody need it.
have mosques all over the greater Houston area,” Mr Khan said. “If you have no
place to go, go to your neighbourhood mosque.”
of the ISGH's generosity comes after Pastor Joel Osteen, of the 16,000 seat Lakewood
Church was criticised for not opening the building to members of the public.
did eventually help with the relief effort.
attaches new conditions to pledged military aid
The Trump administration has held back previously promised military aid of $255
million to Pakistan by attaching new conditions which, the State Department
says, will allow it to review the level of its cooperation with Islamabad
before making new commitments.
Department notified Congress on August 30 of our intent to obligate $255
million in FY 2016 Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan. At the same time,
the Department is placing a pause on spending those funds and on allocating
them to any specific FMF sales contracts,” said the State Department in a
statement sent to Dawn.
read: 'Peanuts, not billions of dollars': Nisar assails Trump's claims of aid
FMF provides grants and loans to help countries purchase US weapons and defence
equipment and for acquiring defence services and military training in the
with our new South Asia strategy, this decision allows us the flexibility to
continue reviewing our level of cooperation with Pakistan prior to committing
new security assistance resources to projects in Pakistan,” the State
its notification to the US Congress on Wednesday, the administration said it
was putting the entire amount into an escrow account that Pakistan could access
only if it did more to eradicate alleged terrorist safe havens in the tribal
areas and stopped cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.
previous US administration had committed the money in 2015, promising to
release it to Pakistan in 2016. The Trump administration did not refuse to
release the funds but attached new conditions to further delay the release.
$255 million in military assistance was the largest portion of an estimated
$1.1 billion of US aid Congress had authorised in 2016.
figures released to the US media estimate the volume of annual US assistance to
Pakistan at $1.1bn, hundreds of millions of dollars are withheld every year
under different restrictions imposed since 2011, when relations between the two
countries began to deteriorate after Osama bin Laden’s discovery in Abbottabad.
duelling messages sent to Pakistan — promising aid but attaching strings if the
country’s counterterror efforts fall short — are part of an increasingly
confrontational turn in an alliance that has long been strained,” commented The
New York Times.
its statement, the State Department said that while the US valued its
cooperation with Pakistan and wanted to see it continue, it also wanted
Islamabad to do more to eradicate terrorism.
President has been clear that we are looking to the Pakistani government to
take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a
threat to the region. It is vital to US interests that Pakistan prevent
terrorist sanctuaries,” the message said. “Pakistan has much to gain from
partnering with our efforts in the region.”
statement also referred to the remarks US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made
last week, saying: “We are ready to work with [the Pakistanis] to help them
protect themselves against these terrorist organisations.”
US claims to have provided Pakistan more than $33bn in aid since 2002. But
Laurel Miller, Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan till
June, told PBS News last week that the actual amount was much less.
an extended period, the US has provided substantial support (to) Pakistan,
primarily security related, but that’s been dwindling quite considerably over
past years and is expected to dwindle further,” she said.
as a consequence, it’s not really a major point of leverage with the Pakistanis
anymore. The US is not providing billions of dollars any longer to Pakistan.”
President Trump said he would use US assistance to Pakistan to persuade
Islamabad to change its policies.
New York Times, however, reported that the US did not want to stop all its
assistance to Pakistan.
than lose such a carrot, Trump administration officials said they wanted to use
the money as incentive for Pakistan to change its behaviour,” the newspaper
Elusive Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is probably still alive and likely
hiding in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, a senior US general said Thursday.
looking for him every day. I don’t think he’s dead,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend,
commander of the counter-Daesh coalition in Iraq and Syria, told reporters in a
admitted he didn’t “have a clue” where Baghdad is precisely, but believes he
may have fled with many other Daesh soldiers into the Middle Euphrates region
stretching from Syria to Iraq, after coalition and local force assaults on the
Daesh bastions of Mosul, Raqqa and Tal Afar.
last stand of Daesh will be in the Middle Euphrates River Valley,” Townsend
we find him, I think we’ll just try to kill him first. It’s probably not worth
all the trouble to try and capture him.”
a $25 million US bounty on his head, Iraq-born Baghdadi has successfully
avoided an intense effort to seek him out for six years or more.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a longtime conflict monitor, said in
mid-June that it had heard from senior Daesh leaders in Syria’s Deir Ezzor
province that Baghdadi was dead.
army said in mid-June that it was seeking to verify whether it had killed him
in a May air strike in Syria.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has extended greetings to Muslims around the
world on Eid-ul-Azha.
a video statement released on his social media, Trudeau said, “Today, Muslims
in Canada and around the world will celebrate Eid al-Azha. On behalf of our
family, Sophie and I extend our best wishes to all those celebrating Eid.”
year, as we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Eid al-Azha is an
opportunity for us all to reflect on the important contributions the Muslim
community has made to build the diverse, strong and inclusive country that we
all call home,” he added.
two million Muslims offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers at Masjid al-Haram, the Grand
Mosque in Makkah, and Masjid an-Nabawi, also called the Prophet’s Mosque, in
Saudi Arabia early Friday morning.
is home to up to 35,000 fanatical Islamists of whom 3,000 are 'worrying' for
the security service MI5, Europe's top anti-terrorism official said today.
counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove singled out the UK as having
more radicalised Muslims than any other country in Europe.
de Kerchove also warned Islamic State will attempt a cyber-attack on nuclear
power stations or air traffic control systems within five years.
could be done by paying Russian hackers to break into vital computer systems.
official, who is in regular contact with security services, terrorism experts
and governments around Europe, said: 'The United Kingdom has identified 20,000
to 35,000 radicals.
these, 3,000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and
has 17,000. Spain many less, but more than 5,000 I suppose. In Belgium almost
500 have been to Syria and there are around 2,000 radicals or more.
wouldn't like to put a concrete figure on it, but (in Europe) tens of
thousands, more than 50,000.
must select those who are really worrying and the most dangerous, and they
should be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.'
de Kerchove, who has been in his position since 2007, was speaking in an
interview with Spain's El Mundo newspaper.
warned European countries will suffer further attacks inspired by ISIS - and
said greater measures must be taken to prevent them.
about the 12-man cell who murdered 16 and injured more than 100 in attacks in
Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17 and 18, he said: 'It's early to draw
definitive conclusions, but we know that we need much greater efforts in
do we detect the first signals (of radicalisation), no matter how weak they
are? They succeeded in preparing the attacks under the radar.
will suffer more attacks. Most, except for Brussels and Paris, were not
directed from Raqqa, but they were inspired there. And later Islamic State
propaganda of the organisation no longer requires people to go to the
caliphate. They can attack in their places or origin, including on a small
scale with home-made weapons.'
de Kerchove said it was vital that European intelligence agencies and police
properly analyse the data they collect and share.
example, police in Catalonia had been warned about Abdelbaki Es Satty, the
alleged leader of the Barcelona cell, by counterparts in Belgium, but failed to
recognise the danger he represented.
counter-terrorism official warned that radicals were increasingly using the
Islamic concept of 'taqiyya' - concealing their religious beliefs from those
around them - in order to prevent detection.
he said: 'We must work more at protecting so-called easy targets. Bollards, the
re-designing of pedestrian streets are necessary. There is a clear effect of
imitation in terrorism, and it seems clear that something like Barcelona will
de Kerchove said European security services had 'dismantled cells, destroyed
plans, arrested people. Spain has arrested 51 jihadis so far this year. In
2016, 69, in 2015, 75.'
added: 'This is a generational problem. It will take time, decades, it won't be
resolved in months.'
official said to date there have been no recorded cases of cyberterrorism, 'in
the sense of penetrating or intending to penetrate the systems of nuclear power
stations, prisons, electrical stations or aerospace'.
he added: 'I would not be surprised if in the next five years it happens. Not
that it works but that they try. One should not underestimate the potential of
the moment they don't have the knowledge for this. But in the dark net you can
find system vulnerabilities for sale.
they can buy the services of Russian hackers, because they have money.'
senior Russian diplomat has warned that members of a foreign-backed militant
group plan to carry out a chemical attack in Syria’s Dara'a province in order
to put the blame on the Damascus government.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that members of
Shabab al-Sunnah group, which is linked to the so-called Free Syrian Army
(FSA), have access to chemical weapons in Syria’s Dara'a province.
are currently several munitions filled with toxic agents at the Shabab
al-Sunnah group’s warehouse located in the Bosra al-Sham settlement in Dara'a
province," media outlets quoted the spokeswoman as saying, who added,
"According to our information, militants plan to use these weapons to
attack one of the settlements in the Dara'a province, putting the blame on the
to the Russian spokeswoman, six settlements, namely Hiran, Nawa, Inkhil,
Jamila, Tafas and Deira are most likely
to come under chemical attack across the troubled region.
remarks come as Terrorists have already used weapons of mass destruction in
their war against Damascus.
April 4, an alleged gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib
province, killing more than 80 people.
the attack, Western countries rushed to hold Damascus responsible for the
incident, with the US launching a missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in
Syria’s Homs province on April 7, claiming that the airfield targeted in the
missile raid was the origin of the April 4 purported chemical attack.
rejected the accusations, saying that militants, not pro-Damascus forces, were
using chemical arms.
late June, Mike Billington, an expert at
the Executive Intelligence Review from Leesburg, said in an interview with
Press TV that Some people within the US and UK administrations were pushing for
a war on Syria in line with their attempts to “sabotage” any possible
cooperation between the US and Russia on fighting terrorism.
was fooled the first time. He was told that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad
used chemical weapons. It was obvious to the entire world that was a lie,”
Billington said, adding, “It is another case of Iraq scam [and similar to] the
accusations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which later of course
turned out to be a total lie.”
Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal
negotiated by Russia and the US back in 2013.
August 25 this year, the head of the Russian military's branch for protection
from chemical weapons, Major General Igor Kirillov, said that his forces had
managed to dismantle two chemical weapons facilities in the formerly
militant-held areas in war-torn Syria.
development raised doubts about the West's claims that the Syrian army was in
possession of chemical weapons.
will not be removed from terror list
in her remarks, Zakharova said that all attempts made by the al-Qaeda linked
Jabhat al-Nusra terror organization in Syria to become legalized by changing
its name were futile.
is a feeling that [Jabhat] al-Nusra members came to believe in the saving force
of the already customary rebranding and assume that a new change of the form
and name will help remove them from the terror organizations list. However, all
these attempts to avoid responsibility for the crimes and, let’s put it this
way, to become legalized are, of course, forlorn," the Russia diplomat
UN Security Council has clearly classified Jabhat al-Nusra and other structures
affiliated to al-Qaeda as terrorist, with all ensuing consequences," she
al-Nusra, long acting as an affiliate of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, has
recently renamed itself and claimed to have broken ranks with al-Qaeda.
has been grappling with militancy since March 2011. The anti-terror fight took
a fresh momentum last year, when pro-government forces liberated Aleppo,
Syria’s largest city before the start of war in 2011. The liberation hugely
boosted the morale of the army and allied forces to go after terrorists in
state of Qatar has been officially labelled as a "state sponsor of
terrorism", and an active supporter of Islamic terrorist organizations
such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State -- not by
Western governments, but by Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islamic faith, and the
other Islamic regimes of the region.
the facts of Qatar -- 11000km2, one-third the size of Belgium, population 2.5
million -- the question may seem far-fetched: How could France, the great
France, possibly be bought by a tiny state such as Qatar?
the single reason that, thanks to its huge gas and oil reserves, Qatar has the
highest per capita income in the world and huge reserves of cash to invest
everywhere, whereas France, thanks to 40 years of socialism, is in dire need of
cash and has a tradition of corruptible officials, to say nothing of a
propensity for "collaboration".
4, the English press -- not the French press -- revealed that French
prosecutors are actively investigating two events: the awarding the 2022 World
Cup of football (soccer) to Qatar, and the purchase by "Qatari Diar",
a state-owned investment company, of a stake in the French utility firm Veolia.
the center of the investigation is former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. To
be sure, Sarkozy has not been formally indicted (and he may never be), but the
evidence is overwhelming.
the World Cup. That the State of Qatar, known for decades for its active
support of Islamic terror organizations, and with a temperature among the
highest in the world -- in addition to zero tradition in the world of football
-- was awarded the 2022 World Cup is, of course, a source of wonder ever since
the award was announced by FIFA, the international governing body of football.
investigators are now looking into a meeting that took place between
then-President Sarkozy, Michel Platini -- the French former president of the
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), who sat on the FIFA committee
that chose Qatar -- and Qatari officials on November 23, 2010 (10 days before
the vote). It is alleged that Platini was dead-set against Qatar and that
Sarkozy urged him to change his mind: "They're good people."
"deal" is said to have been sealed when Qatar agreed to buy the
biggest French soccer team, the Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG). It is alleged that
huge bribes were paid by Qatar to high-ranking French officials, to secure
these two deals: the World Cup and the Veolia investment. Although no evidence
has yet been presented, the case would not have been opened by French
prosecutors without it. In addition, no one has ever denied the meeting of
November 23, 2010.
April 2010, the "Qatari Diar" fund bought a 5% stake in Veolia.
Investigators are tracking 182 million euros suspected of having been used to
bribe French officials. Investigators are also looking into a possible link
between these two operations: Qatar investing in Veolia as a favor to France,
possibly in exchange for France's support for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.
is doubtful if the French investigators will ever get to the bottom of these
two cases. The judiciary in France has a long tradition of submitting to the
government. Since 1789, the French judiciary has not even been an independent
power -- as are the Legislative and the Executive -- but a mere authority with
a more limited scope.
is revealing that these two investigations were exposed, not by the French
press, but by the English press.
we already know for sure is the following:
state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was allowed to buy France's leading soccer
team, Paris-Saint-Germain, with the help of then-president Nicolas Sarkozy. The
former owner of the PSG was a private fund controlled in Europe by one of
Sarkozy's close friends. There would have been no deal without the direct
consent of Sarkozy -- that is the way France functions.
state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was not only allowed, but actively courted,
by French officials to invest in some of France's largest companies, including
defense companies, such as Veolia, as well as the Airbus parent company,
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS); the energy group EDF; the
construction firm, Vinci; and the media and defense group Lagardère.
state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, was actively supported in its 2022 bid for
the World Cup by the government of France and Nicolas Sarkozy, who declared
after the FIFA vote in 2010: "Sport does not belong to a few countries. It
belongs to the world... I don't understand those who say that events should
always be held in the same countries and the same continents."
is a significant part of the French political class that seems to consider the
Embassy of Qatar in Paris some sort of automatic teller machine (ATM), as has
been showed by renowned journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot in
their book, Nos très chers émirs (Our Very Dear Emirs) and deplored by the new
ambassador of Qatar in France, Meshaal al-Thani.
2008, a state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar, has benefited from a huge tax break
in France: the exemption of profits on property sales. In France, profits on
property sales are not only taxed at 19%, they are subject to a further
CSG/CRDS and social tax (15.5%), resulting in a combined total minimum tax rate
of 34.5%. The rule is the same for everyone, whether a person or a corporation.
Everyone, that is, but the State of Qatar, when the administration of Nicolas
Sarkozy decided to exempt it from the tax. As a result, Qatar's royal family
and sovereign fund have since built up a huge portfolio of assets in France,
one that dwarfs the portfolio of a state such as Saudi Arabia. Qatar's
portfolio ranges from a Champs-Élysées mall to the Lido Cabaret. "Our
deficit has destroyed our freedom," said Nathalie Goulet, a centrist
senator from Lower Normandy, in 2013. "The Qataris are here to buy, while
we are selling our family jewels." Which they did. 
and other Gulf states try to benefit from tax exemptions everywhere in the
world, but this convergence of facts -- the selling of assets, sports clubs,
defense companies and governmental representatives -- is unique to France. It
is through these tax breaks -- this is only one of them -- that the Qataris are
buying the "jewels" of France. Of course, the U.S. is also selling
arms to the Qataris -- the U.S. has a military base in Al Udeid -- but the U.S.
is not selling its defense companies to Qatar.
therefore probably do not even have to wait for the results of the latest
investigations to note that France, particularly but not exclusively under the
auspices of Nicolas Sarkozy, has literally been bought by a state sponsor of
the same time, Islam in France has been spreading. France has been deeply
infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization, which is not
categorized in France -- unlike the UK -- as a sponsor of terror. This
organization, since it was overthrown by Egypt's current president, Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi, is now the darling of Qatar. Without Qatar, the Muslim
Brotherhood would be without a home-base. Given its huge financial, corporate
and political dependence on Qatar, it is clear that France -- in the name of "stability"
-- would not do anything to displease its darling.
France is a member of NATO and a nuclear power, nowhere else in the West is
Islamism so deeply embedded in the fabric of the institutions, mind and
zeitgeist of a country as it is there. Even in the UK, you still find very
powerful counter-powers (see the governmental report on the Muslim
Brotherhood). Not in France.
the case of the Palestinian official Jabril Rajoub -- sentenced to life in
prison in 1970 for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army vehicle, but released,
along with others, in exchange for three Israeli soldiers taken hostage by the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Rajoub is now chairman of
the Palestinian Football Association -- another illustration of the deep
infiltration of FIFA by Islamists and Jew-haters sponsored by Gulf States,
beginning with Qatar. Would that position even be thinkable without France's
sponsorship of Qatar in FIFA? Probably not.
FSB intelligence agency said Thursday that it had detained two men from
ex-Soviet Central Asia who were plotting to carry out stabbing and suicide bomb
attacks in Moscow.
FSB said the men were looking to strike “mass gathering places” in Moscow and
the surrounding region on Friday, the first day of the Russian school year.
of the suspects was arrested after posting a video of himself swearing
allegiance to the ISIS and was intending to “attack civilians using bladed
weapons”, the agency said in a statement.
second alleged ISIS member was detained after a “powerful homemade explosive
device” was discovered at his residence, the FSB said.
admitted that he intended to become a suicide bomber,” it said.
has repeatedly been threatened by ISIS militants over its intervention in
group has claimed responsibility for two recent stabbing attacks in Russia, but
authorities have played down the group’s possible involvement.
Monday, two men stabbed a policeman to death and wounded another in Dagestan in
Russia’s North Caucasus before being shot dead by police.
on August 19, a man stabbed seven people on the street in the northern city of
Surgut before being shot and killed.
claims certain circles in government attempts to spark ethnic tensions
provincial governor of northern Balkh province and chief executive of
Jamiat-e-Islami party Ata Mohammad Noor has claimed that certain circles in the
government are attempting to spark ethnic tensions among the people.
a statement released on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, Noor said the misbehaviors
and wrong approaches by the circles have resulted into growing gap among the
Afghan people belonging to different tribes and ethnicities.
that the Afghan people need a unity more than any other time, Noor warned that
such approaches will have a grim end and a long term negative impact on the
people if the circles within the government did not refrain from their wrongful
further added that the government leaders are obliged to pay attention to the
concerns, demands, and recommendations of the people in a bid to create an
atmosphere of unity among the people.
said the Jamiat-e-Islami party has concerns regarding the moves, remarks, and
stances being put on display on orders of the governmental circles.
Balkh governor also added that Jamiat-e-Islami together with new political
coalition members strictly monitor the situation and will not allow those
circles to achieve their goals and play with the fate of the ordinary people.
did not disclose the circles which he believe are involved in hatching
conspiracies but in the past he and his party have harshly criticized the
senior security officials in the government for their failure in ensuring
security and attempting to spark tensions among the people.
least four insurgent including a Pakistani national were killed after an
Improvised Explosive Device went off prematurely in northern Kunduz province of
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army in the North said the incident
has taken place in the vicinity of Imam Sahib district.
Shaheen Corps officials said the militants were attempting to prepare the
Improvised Explosive Device to be placed on a roadside when it went off.
officials further added that a Pakistani national who was involved in the
engineering works of the roadside bombs was also among those killed.
anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not
commented regarding the report so far.
anti-government armed militant groups frequently use explosives materials for
the roadside bombings and car bombings to target the government staff and
in majority of such incidents the ordinary civilians are targeted besides such
bombings incur casualties to the security personnel and in some cases the
Taliban militants themselves are killed or wounded.
bodies of 20 Rohingya Muslims were pulled out of a river Thursday along the
border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, across which thousands have fled this week.
Twelve of the dead were children.
just one week, almost 50,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in
Myanmar's Rakhine state, according to estimates by the UN.
many as 27,000 of the displaced people crossed the Bangladeshi border to camps
in areas around Cox's Bazar, while a further 20,000 are in no-man's land
between the two countries.
worsening cycle of violence is of grave concern and must be broken
urgently," the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in
Myanmar, Yanghee Lee said in a news release Thursday.
exodus began last Friday after the Myanmar government intensified
"clearance operations" following an attack by Rohingya militants on
border posts that left 12 security officials dead.
Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are
considered some of the most persecuted people in the world. Myanmar, also known
as Burma, considers them Bangladeshi interlopers, and Bangladesh says they're
20 bodies were pulled early Thursday from the Naf River, Ariful Islam,
commanding officer of the Bangladesh Border Guard in Teknaf, told CNN.
said they may have been on a boat that capsized trying to make it across the
river to Bangladesh.
situation is not good. The Rohingyas are all coming across to escape," he
can see the smoke on the other side; we can hear the gunfire, they fire very
frequently. The intensity of the influx is getting more and more each
of refugees flee across border
said his team of border guards are intercepting Rohingya refugees arriving in
Bangladesh to "prevent the illegal intrusion." He estimates they have
sent around 1,000 people back to Myanmar since clashes began a week ago.
state media reported Tuesday that more than 110 people had died since Friday's
"coordinated attacks by extremist terrorists."
thousands of Rohingya refugees have made it across the border to Bangladesh,
thousands of others are stranded in a no man's land between the two countries,
the International Organization for Migration said.
organization said it's unclear how many people have made it into camps along
the Bangladeshi border. Aid agencies working in the camps are compiling numbers
since there is no registration process for undocumented Myanmar nationals in
accuse Myanmar of atrocities
Wednesday, the leader of the militant Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army group
accused the Myanmar authorities of atrocities, including killing children and
throwing them into rivers, mutilating women and torching houses.
by two men brandishing automatic weapons, Atah Ullah used a video statement to
call on the international community to act and urged Bangladesh to help the
thousands fleeing and those stranded in the no man's land, where "many
will perish" in the next few days if they don't get help.
said that the Rohingya community was subject to "atrocities being
repeatedly and consistently perpetrated by the Burmese regime."
on this day infants and toddlers were murdered before mutilating their bodies
and later disposed of in the water," he said.
women were too mutilated after being chased on the streets." He called on
the international community and rights groups to apply pressure on the Myanmar
'Status quo cannot continue'
violence erupted last week hours after a long-awaited report into the treatment
of Rohingya by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
report warned that unrest in Rakhine could spiral out of control unless
concrete action is taken soon.
remain high and they risk becoming worse," Annan said. "The status
quo cannot continue."
UN Security Council held a closed door discussion Wednesday at the request of
the United Kingdom to address the escalating violence in Myanmar.
Rycroft, British ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters resistance
from some countries meant a consensus on any action from the world body was
unlikely. No joint statement was released.
groups in the region have been critical of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi,
whose National League for Democracy party swept to power in 2015.
San Suu Kyi has been putting out statements (which are) consistently
disturbing, and her office is generating anti-Rohingya, anti-aid worker
propaganda, fueling tensions in the country," Matthew Smith, co-founder of
human rights group Fortify Rights, told CNN this week.
Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan (MoI) confirmed the involvement of Afghan
Ulema Council chif Mawlavi Qeyamuddin Kashaf son’s involvement in the deadly
clash in a wedding hall in Kabul city.
spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the deadly incident in one of the wedding
halls in Kabul city as he was speaking to reporters during a press conference
further added that the incident took place in Afghan Khyber wedding hall in the
vicinity of Taimani area of the city.
said the incident took place after a clash broke out between the son of Mawlavi
Kashaf and a member of the supreme court of Afghanistan.
to Danish, at least four people have been arrested in connection to the
incident and an investigation is underway in this regard.
did not disclose further information regarding the incident and it is yet not
clear if the son of Mawlavi Kashaf has been arrested or not.
comes as earlier reports indicated at least four people were killed and two
others were wounded during the incident.
LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak today called on Muslims in the country to
imbibe the spirit of Aidiladha as the celebration could foster unity between
Muslims in general and others.
prime minister said by fully appreciating the meaning of Aidiladha, Muslims
would be able to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood, oneness and sacrifice.
who reject unity will make themselves vulnerable to the enemies of Islam, who
will infringe upon the religion, and weaken and destroy it and its followers.
the unity and peace bestowed upon us is an invaluable gift that must be
fact, it is obligatory for us to practice fairness when dealing with one
another even if we are from different communities and subscribe to different
religions and beliefs,” he said in a message in his blog www.1Malaysia.com.my
in conjunction with the Aidiladha celebration tomorrow.
said the Aidiladha celebration this year was more meaningful as it followed the
National Day celebrations and Malaysia’s emergence as the champion of the
just-concluded 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
prime minister also shared his joy over Malaysia sending the largest number of
haj pilgrims to the Holy Land this year.
wish to record our thanks to the Saudi Arabian government for easing the
management of our pilgrims as we were the first country to participate in the
haj pilgrims pre-clearance programme this year, in which our pilgrims were
exempted from going through Customs and passport checks in Mecca and Madina.
privilege was also offered to us because of the close relationship we have
established and maintained with the Saudi Arabian authorities,” he said.
also called on Muslims to celebrate the Aidiladha with full gratitude and
faith, besides strengthening bonds with one another so as to build a successful
ummah in this life and the hereafter.
scandal rocks booming Mecca pilgrimage industry
-- Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan has made headlines at New York Fashion
Week with collections of Muslim attire that landed the 31-year-old on the
Forbes Indonesia magazine list of inspiring women in 2017.
her involvement in the twice-annual show, purchase of a luxury residence, and
investment in a restaurant in London, are being investigated as part of a
massive Ponzi scheme run by First Travel, a tour company specializing in
low-cost pilgrimages that belongs to Hasibuan and her husband, Andika
couple were recently arrested on suspicion of swindling nearly 850 billion
rupiah ($63 million) from nearly 60,000 people who have registered for the Umrah,
an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
scandal has thrown a spotlight on the booming religious tour business to Mecca.
The Hajj, the preeminent pilgrimage, this year runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4.
The number of Hajj pilgrims is capped each year by the Saudi authorities, so
less expensive and the more flexible Umrah pilgrimages at any other time of the
year have become a popular alternative.
world's Muslim population is projected to increase from 1.7 billion in 2014 to
2.2 billion by 2030, and this is driving insatiable demand for pilgrimages. A
series of serious fraud cases, however, are raising questions about oversight
in the Muslim world.
the world's most populous Muslim nation, is reviewing control of tour operators
in the wake of the First Travel scandal. Less obvious frauds have long been
perpetrated on would-be pilgrims.
years ago, Surachman worked in a convenience store to support his small family
while Hasibuan studied at the University of Indonesia. After the death of her
father, the couple sold their house to enable Surachman to open a small kiosk
in Depok, West Java, selling everything from cell phone coupons to burgers. The
business also helped travel agents find customers.
changed in 2012. Surachman won a bid to send 170 employees of the central bank
and of Pertamina, the state oil company, to Mecca. "We only based our
proposal on a number of readings on the Umrah," Surachman told Kompas
daily in 2015. "We managed to defeat experienced bidders -- nobody knew we
had never done the Umrah before."
Malaysia’s bustling capital Kuala Lumpur, with its towering steel and glass
skyscrapers and sleek, modern rail and highway networks, the call to prayer
rings out from a mosque on a quiet side street just several doors down from a
a population of around 1.6 million, much of which is employed in the finance
and real estate sectors, Kuala Lumpur is the heart of a country that has
embraced shopping malls and almost entirely eradicated poverty. Malaysia’s mix
of ethnic Malay, Chinese, and Indian residents – Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus
respectively – all work and worship on the same streets, allowing the country
of 31 million inhabitants to be upheld as a symbol of cosmopolitan
multiculturalism and tolerance.
simultaneously, the world’s most regressive and ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim
group is increasingly targeting this majority-Muslim nation. As U.S.-allied
forces drove extremists from the Islamic State (ISIS) out of major parts of
their self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq, the militants ramped up their efforts
in Southeast Asia and declared Malaysia a part of their dominion. Most
recently, the extremist group named Malaysia’s anti-terror chief, Ayob Khan
Mydin Pitchay, one of its main targets, calling on its adherents to “awake now
and finish off Ayob Khan,” according to social media messages and media
response, Malaysian authorities have doubled down on the group’s online
recruitment efforts and launched security measures to prevent terrorist attacks
have arrested more than 300 individuals over the past four years for suspected
links to the Islamic State, and shut down numerous pro-ISIS websites. But
experts say the government’s efforts have failed to prevent a significant
number of Malaysians from fighting for ISIS in diverse countries such as the
Philippines and Iraq, and that more efforts will be needed as ISIS militants
return home to Malaysia.
Prosecutors demanded a prison term of five years for young Golkar party
politican Fahd El Fouz on Thursday (31/08) over alleged bribery related to the
government's procurement of the Koran and computer laboratories.
also sought a fine of Rp 250 million ($19,000) or an additional prison sentence
of six months for Fahd, who allegedly received Rp 3.4 billion in bribes over
the 2011-12 project.
that the panel of judges declare defendant Fahd El Fouz guilty of committing
corruption collectively," prosecutor Lie Putra Setiawan said at the
Jakarta Anticorruption Court, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.
allegedly accepted bribes from businessman Abdul Kadir Alaydrus to have the
latter's companies carry out the Rp 31.2 billion procurement of computer
laboratories for senior Islamic high schools in the country and a Rp 72 billion
procurement for Korans from the Ministry of Religious.
allegedly received a total of nearly Rp 14 billion in bribes alongside
Zulkarnaen Djabar, a former member of a House of Representatives commission
overseeing religious affairs, and his son, Dendy Prasetya.
vie with Israel over Muslim pilgrims to Jerusalem
On any given day, Muslim pilgrims arrive at a Middle East airport on a journey
to one of Islam’s holiest sites.
Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, they rub shoulders with larger groups of
visitors - diaspora Jews and Christian tourists - many of them headed for the
same destination, a 45-minute drive away: the sacred city of Jerusalem.
Muslims are only a small part of the Holy Land’s religious tourism market. But
both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank are vying
for their business.
come mainly to pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, in a compound that is one of
the world’s most contested and volatile holy sites. Al-Aqsa is the most
important shrine in Islam after Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina, but less of a
draw for foreign Muslims, many of whose countries spurn Israel or its claim of
sovereignty over the eastern sector of Jerusalem, captured in the 1967 war.
Tourism Ministry recorded 115,000 Muslim tourists in 2016 - 3 percent of the
3.8 million foreigners who arrived at its airports or land borders it controls
with Jordan and Egypt.
of these Muslim tourists identified as pilgrims, the ministry said. Most of
them - around 100,000 - came from Turkey, which recognizes Israel. But there
were also some from Indonesia and Malaysia, which do not, and whose citizens
Israel admits under special provisions for pilgrims.
Muslim tourist spends an average of $1,133 on the trip, the Israeli ministry
said. Palestinians fret that too much of that goes to Israel and want the
tourists to opt for alternative Palestinian venues in Jerusalem or the West
have been conducting a campaign to introduce Turkish tourist companies to
Palestinian hotels in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and we have started to
see many of them booking their rooms in these hotels,” said Jereyes Qumseyah,
spokesman for the Palestinian Tourism Ministry.
said the Palestinians have permanent displays at major tourism conferences in
Palestinian ministry offered no statistics on the scope of foreign tourism to
the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But Qumseyah said Palestinians are also
enjoying “big success” in teaming up their tour companies with counterparts in
Malaysia, Indonesia and the Arab world so to draw more pilgrims.
the economic benefits, Palestinians see such visits as cementing pan-Islamic
sympathy for their goal of establishing a state with East Jerusalem - whose
walled Old City is dominated by Al-Aqsa and the gilded Dome of the Rock - as
that end, Palestinian religious authorities dispute an edict by Youssef Al-Qaradawi
of Egypt, Sunni Islam’s top cleric, that non-Palestinian Muslims should not go
to Jerusalem lest they be perceived as validating Israeli rule.
Even for Palestinians, access is not a given:
Since their 2000 uprising against Israel, it has routinely restricted their
travel to Jerusalem from the West Bank and imposed a tighter clampdown on the
Gaza Strip, which is under Islamist Hamas rule.
the senior Palestinian cleric, Grand Mufti Mohammad Hussein, sounded cautiously
optimistic about foreign pilgrims.
increasing number of Muslims are visiting Al-Aqsa. Maybe the numbers are not as
high as we had hoped, but we hope they will increase in days to come,” he told
British pilgrim, Adeel Sadiq, came to Al-Aqsa this week with 15 fellow Britons.
“We want to show our support to the people here, that you are not alone and Al
Masjed Al Aqsa (Al-Aqsa mosque) is for all Muslims,” he told a Palestinian
has no counter-campaign aimed at attracting Muslim pilgrims. The Israeli Tourism
Ministry said its marketing budget is allocated to countries in North and South
America, Europe and the Far East and Russia, and does not include Turkey.
the height of tensions in Jerusalem last month over Israeli controls on access
to Al-Aqsa, Turkey’s Islamist-rooted president, Tayyip Erdogan, urged his
compatriots to flock there in solidarity with the Palestinians.
general manager of Turkish Airlines followed up with an ad offering $159
round-trip flights to “Jerusalem” - though in fact the planes land at Ben
Gurion. Israel’s envoy to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, tweeted in turn: “We will always
be glad to warmly welcome Turkish tourists to Israel and our capital
again shuts down Palestinian radio station
- Israeli forces have shut down a Palestinian radio station in the occupied
West Bank for six months, the army and sources at the station said on Thursday.
station in the southern West Bank city of Hebron was closed “for content
inciting violence and encouraging terrorism,” an army spokeswoman said without
providing further details.
source at the station said technical equipment had been confiscated during a
raid on the station’s offices. Israel’s army regularly acts against media it
accuses of encouraging young Palestinians to take up arms against Israeli
forces in the West Bank.
which means freedom in Arabic, was one of two channels similarly closed for six
months in November 2015 shortly after the start of a fresh wave of
Israeli-Palestinian violence. The unrest has continued, killing more than 294
Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 47 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an
Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.
- Conflicts in the Middle East boosted Bulgaria’s arms exports by almost 60
percent in 2016 to record levels not seen since the end of communism, official
data showed Thursday.
which specialises in the production of light-weight Soviet-style weapons and
munitions, exported over 1.0 billion euros’ ($1.2 billion) worth of arms in
2016 compared to 642 million in 2015 and 402 million in 2014.
and Saudi Arabia were the main buyers, followed by the United States,
Afghanistan, Croatia, Azerbaijan, India, Egypt and Russia, the annual report of
the export control committee showed.
believe that many of weapons exported by Bulgaria - and other countries in the
region - end up in war-hit Syria and Yemen after being re-exported by Saudi
Arabia and the US to armed groups in these countries.
2014 study by the British Conflict Armament Research organisation concluded
that one quarter of the munitions used by the Islamic State group in northern
Iraq and Syria were Bulgarian-made.
economy ministry, which greenlights all arms exports, had downplayed the issue,
saying that it cannot be held accountable for any re-exports.
makes “Russian models that are not expensive and are easy to use,” expert
Tihomir Bezlov from the Sofia-based think-tank Centre for the Study of
Democracy commented recently to AFP.
United States on Thursday described remarks by a Palestinian Hamas leader
boasting of strong military ties with Iran as a “stunning admission” that
showed Tehran was violating a UN ban on arms exports.
leader Yahya al-Sinwar, who heads the Palestinian Islamist movement in Gaza,
told reporters on Monday that Iran was the “biggest supporter of Hamas’s
military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
Iranian military support to Hamas and al-Qassam is strategic,” said Sinwar,
adding that ties with Iran had “become fantastic and returned to its former
a statement, the US mission to the United Nations recalled that Iran is barred
from exporting weapons under a key UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear
deal with world powers.
again, Iran is showing its true colors,” said US Ambassador Nikki Haley.
must abide by UN resolutions or decide “whether it wants to be the leader of a
jihadist terrorist movement,” she added.
long past time for the international community to hold Iran to the same
standard that all countries who actually value peace and security are held to.”
strong supporter of Israel, Haley has repeatedly criticized Iran at the United
Nations and cast doubt over its commitment to the nuclear deal.
United States considers Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since
2008, a terrorist organization.
has run Gaza since 2007 and received Iranian financial and military support for
years, but the movement had distanced itself from Iran over Tehran’s strong
backing of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a public appearance in Sanaa and participated
in the funeral of Khaled al-Razi whom Houthis killed in Saturday’s clashes.
called for investigating the murder and arresting the perpetrators.
Adel al-Shojaa, a member of Saleh’s Party, the General People’s Congress,
slammed the Houthis and said they resemble ISIS in the way they practice
terrorism and behave like gangs, adding that the Houthi movement is a cancerous
phenomenon that must be eliminated.
is Saleh’s first public appearance since Saturday’s clashes between Houthi
gunmen and his loyalists.
said that at the night when the clashes erupted, Houthi gunmen searched his
son’s car Salah at a security checkpoint although he identified himself, adding
that they opened fire on the car.
situation is still tense in Sanaa as both parties seem to be lurking for one
militias have stalled removing the checkpoints they recently set.
Houthis and Saleh loyalists agreed to ease tensions, some observers think that
Houthis do not commit to their vows.
President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have
warned that secessionist moves are not in the interests of the regional peace
and stability, but rather to the detriment of nations.
powers are applying their desires in the region to the detriment of
nations," Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with the Turkish leader
on Thursday, the state news agency IRNA reported.
two presidents were apparently referring to Iraqi Kurdish leaders' decision to
go ahead with a referendum on possible secession from the Arab country on
does not believe some of the separatist tendencies and problems that have
arisen in the Persian Gulf region are ever for the sake of peace and stability
in the region," Rouhani said.
central government in Baghdad is opposed to the vote and regional players like
Iran and Turkey have also voiced alarm about its consequences, arguing that it
could create further instability in the region.
his conversation, Rouhani regretted insecurity and conflicts in some regional
countries, stressing that Tehran and Ankara should more than before play a role
in restoring peace to the region.
also voiced dismay at recent developments in Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims
are fleeing their homes in the wake of a brutal military crackdown in the
Islamic Republic of Iran does not brook oppression against Muslims in any place
of the world and condemns it,” President Rouhani added.
Turkish president, for his part, said he was confident that his country’s
cooperation with Iran would grow under the new administration in Tehran.
also expressed regret at the ongoing crackdown against Muslims in Myanmar and
underlined the need for unity between Iran and Turkey to resolve regional
with Qatari emir
on Thursday, Rouhani held another phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, voicing Iran’s keenness to strengthen brotherly
relations among the regional Muslim countries and boost ties with Qatar.
has already said it is ready to help resolve a diplomatic crisis between Qatar
and the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt which have imposed
a trade embargo on Doha.
said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran regards what has been imposed on Qatar as
unfair and a source of more tensions among the regional countries.”
he said, does its best to cooperate with Qatar and help its nation and government
cope with the situation for the sake of the regional stability.
Saudi-led quartet has accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism,” which Doha
rejects, contenting that it is being targeted for following a foreign policy
line independent of Riyadh.
his conversation with President Rouhani, the Qatari emir appreciated Iran’s
principled stance on the "unfair sanctions."
military teams are searching the Golan Heights to find a soldier, who left his
unit during military activity in the occupied territory on Wednesday and has
searches are focused on Katzrin area in the central Golan Heights, where the
missing soldier was last seen on Wednesday afternoon, the Times of Israel news
seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later
occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international
community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since
and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against
the Syrian government.
the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked Syrian military targets in
the Golan Heights in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups
that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
in April 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially admitted
for the first time that the regime's military had conducted strikes in Syrian
says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist
groups operating inside the Arab country, while the Tel Aviv regime's military
carries out such sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces. The Israeli
regime has even set up field hospitals to treat wounded militants evacuated
bomb placed in a garbage container has exploded in the western Turkish city of
Izmir, wounding at least eight people on a shuttle bus nearby.
explosion took place in Izmir’s Buca district on Thursday around 0500 GMT, the
Turkish media said.
to the reports, suspected terrorists reportedly detonated the bomb as the bus
was passing by.
images showed the shattered windows of the shuttle bus and other damaged
vehicles near the explosion site.
far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Police launched an
investigation to find the perpetrators of the attack.
January, an explosion struck near a courthouse in Izmir, leaving two people
dead and 10 others wounded. The Turkish government blamed the outlawed
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the attack.
the past few years, Turkey has seen a rise in terror attacks targeting civilians
and security forces. Most of the assaults were claimed either by the PKK
militants or Daesh terrorists.
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